South Dakota was the first state to challenge Ford’s Model e program, which sought to standardize electric vehicle sales practices and required dealers to make substantial investments to prepare for new technologies. EVs have become increasingly polarizing as OEMs continue to set lofty targets for the segment that seem unrealistic given the slow growth of demand.
On this episode of Inside Automotive, hosts Shyann Malone and Jim Fitzpatrick are joined by Christine Erickson, president of the South Dakota Auto Dealers Association (SDADA) and the South Dakota Trucking Association (SDTA). Erickson is a former state politician and has spent the last year discussing electric vehicle sales with dealers across her state as she works closely with current legislators and OEMs to negotiate mutually beneficial standards. Now, she joins the show to give an update on where the EV market stands and where she sees the market going.
1. South Dakota dealers want electric vehicle sales to be market-driven rather than government-driven, creating friction with OEMs and legislators.
2. Higher electric vehicle sales could come at the cost of damaged roads and higher transportation expenses since most electrified models are substantially heavier than gas-powered cars.
3. Although South Dakota does not intend to adopt CARB emissions standards any time soon, industries within the state are investing heavily in clean energy alternatives.
4. Range anxiety is impeding EV demand in South Dakota, as the state’s cold temperatures and rural environments can be draining on current battery cells.
5. Electric vehicle demand is also held back by pricing as OEMs continue to set MSRPs above what most households can afford.
"While, yes we will sell whatever we can get our hands on, at the same we want to make sure it's done in a responsible manner and making sure we have a diverse transportation system." — Christine Erickson