74% of Auto Dealers Nationwide Are Not Selling Electric Vehicles

Sierra Club releases update of REV Up EV Shopper Study

In 2016, the Sierra Club conducted a study where shoppers went to auto dealers to “shop” for an EV (though in some cases, it was people in the market actually shopping). The results were dispiriting with many dealers not offering EVS, not charging the cars for test driving, having few on the lot and not prominently displaying them.

The prior study was done only in the 10 states following the California fuel economy rules (CARB states). This new study is national, though it breaks out a number of the results by the CARB states versus the rest of the country. While there are some differences in the data points between the studies, the results that aren’t much more encouraging, starting with the 74% headline number (which means that there were no EVs present on the lots of 74% of dealers visited). The picture is slightly better in the CARB states.

Aside from dealer experience, the study makes an effort to provide a broader context, and cites, for example, data on media expenditures by the auto companies on behalf of EVs, which are extremely minimal.

To the extent there was positive information here, there are some dealers that are genuinely making an effort. But it is very ad hoc and dealer dependent. There is no apparent systematic or effective effort on the part of the OEMs to encourage or demand that the dealers make a serious EV sales effort.

The EV Club of CT was recruited by the Sierra Club to send shoppers to dealers and we were happy to oblige.

It should be noted that this isn’t a secret shopper format. The Sierra Club did not direct participating shoppers not to disclose what they were doing.

The full summary can be found here.

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