A Huge Number Of US Car Dealers Don't Want To Sell EVs

Electric Vehicles / Comments

The Sierra Club has released a new survey, and automakers should pay attention.

A surprisingly large number of US auto dealerships are not interested nor enthusiastic about selling all-electric vehicles, according to the results of a new survey from the Sierra Club.

The survey was titled "Rev Up Electric Vehicles: A Nationwide Study of the Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience," the survey was designed to better understand the EV market and how dealers adapt to the changing times. A total of 800 dealers took part in all 50 states. The results are, shall we say, interesting.

Automakers should take note, draw some conclusions, and develop better strategies. How come? Because 66% of dealers don't even have EVs to sell right now, and 45% of those dealers said they would not even offer an EV even if they had them in stock.

There are still ongoing supply chain constraints and technical issues, making it somewhat challenging for automakers to promptly get their latest EV offerings to dealers. The Ford F-150 Lightning is a prime example. Ford had to stop production of its electric truck in February following a fire at the plant.

2023 Nissan Ariya Front Angle View CarBuzz 2023 Nissan Ariya Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2023 Nissan Ariya Front Angle View
2023 Nissan Ariya Rear Angle View

Conversely, 44% said they would sell EVs if they had them in stock. So why is there a large number of dealerships uninterested in selling EVs? The environmental organization's survey also included space for responses from dealer employees, and their thinking makes an awful lot of sense.

"We need to install chargers first before the automaker can send us EVs to sell," said one Chevy dealer representative from Wyoming. A Nissan dealer employee from Louisiana commented that "We're getting more EVs in 2023. We have had them in the past but none this year. It's difficult to get any in stock." Customers also expressed some frustration. "They didn't have an EV available to test drive. Volvo charged them during the weekend, and they told us to return during the week. Bad practice," a customer from Louisana responded.

A Toyota shopper from Maryland had this to say: "You have to buy them sight unseen as the dealership has no inventory on hand. I was interested in the bZ4X, and none were available or expected to be available for the foreseeable future."

2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Front Angle View CarBuzz 2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Front Angle View
2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Rear Angle View

The survey compared results from five regions: Northeast (11 states plus DC), Southeast (12 states), West (11 states), Southwest (four states), and Midwest (12 states), and supplemented its findings with EV sales and market share data for 2022 from Atlas Public Policy.

It turns out that just 27% of dealers in the Western region (which includes EV-loving California) had an EV available to sell, which was the lowest availability among the regions. But this region still sold more EVs than the rest of the country. It accounted for 45% (423,993) of all EV sales last year.

The organization concludes that low EV availability is a direct result of sales turnover and high consumer demand. The Southeast, meanwhile, had the highest percentage of EVs for sale at 41%, with 158,777 units sold. That's 17% of all EV sales nationwide.

2022-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Angle View CarBuzz 2022-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2022-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Angle View
2022-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Rear Angle View

Also important to remember is that not every state allows direct EV sales, like from Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid.

That obviously affects EV sales. States that do allow direct sales represented 65% of all EVs sold in the country in 2022. Dealers in 13 states with zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) programs did say that they're happy to sell EVs, but inventory shortages are preventing them from doing so. That's important because the survey found that ZEV states account for 61% of America's total EV sales, which is unsurprising.

Lastly, the survey found that Mercedes-Benz dealers had the best EV availability (90%), while Toyota and Honda had the worst (15% and 11%, respectively).

2021-2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Front View Driving Tesla 2021-2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Rear View Driving Tesla
2021-2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Front View Driving
2021-2023 Tesla Model S Plaid Rear View Driving

Join The Discussion

Gallery

2021-2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Angle View 2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Front Angle View 2022-2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Rear Angle View 2023 Nissan Ariya Front Angle View 2023 Nissan Ariya Rear Angle View
9
Photos

Related Cars

Back
To Top