In a surprising turn of events, car dealerships across the nation are taking a stand against the electric vehicle (EV) craze, signaling a growing resistance among those on the front lines of the auto industry. Reports have emerged suggesting that these dealers are informing auto manufacturers that their lots are overflowing with electric vehicles, leading them to scale back on orders until their current inventory is cleared.
Scott Kunes, the Chief Operating Officer at Kunes Auto and RV Group, made it clear that his company is putting the brakes on accepting more EVs. “We’ve made the decision to turn away EV inventory. We need to ensure we can turn a profit,” Kunes stated unequivocally, as reported by Business Insider. The request from automakers for dealerships to make significant investments in EVs is met with caution, as Kunes expressed the need to see a return on that investment.
Sam Fiorani, Vice President of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, provided valuable insight into the challenges faced by everyday Americans when contemplating the switch from a gas-powered car to an electric one. “It’s not just about the price tag, which is undeniably high. We’re talking about a significant lifestyle adjustment,” Fiorani emphasized. EVs, while environmentally friendly, often have a limited driving range and can be inconvenient due to sparse charging station availability.
Additionally, the financial barrier is substantial, with Consumer Reports revealing that the average sale price of an EV surpasses $61,000, a staggering $12,000 more than the industry average for traditional combustion engine-based vehicles. Fiorani continued, “For the average consumer, making that leap while shelling out an extra $10,000 is a tough sell.”
Stories of electric vehicle mishaps and inconveniences have captured headlines, fueling skepticism among potential buyers. A recent incident involving a Ford F-150 Lightning owner on a road trip from Winnipeg to Chicago serves as a stark example. Despite the hefty price tag of well over $100,000 for the all-electric Ford pickup, the owner’s experience led him to label electric vehicles as the “biggest scam of modern times.”
While optimistic projections for EVs abound in the long term, it’s evident that these vehicles are far from ready to replace the reliability of traditional automobiles. Nonetheless, some progressive states, such as California, have preemptively enforced electric vehicle mandates. California’s announcement to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 has raised concerns, particularly among automakers who must adapt to these new regulations.
John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, raised legitimate questions about the feasibility of meeting these mandates, given external factors like inflation, charging infrastructure limitations, supply chain challenges, labor issues, critical mineral availability, pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage. These complexities are deeply intertwined on a global scale, making compliance with such mandates a daunting task.
Concerns also loom over the practicality of transitioning the masses to electric vehicles. Current limitations in driving range and charging infrastructure could severely constrain individual autonomy. Moreover, an affordability crisis is on the horizon, as many Americans struggle to afford a new car, let alone an electric one.
Sustainability concerns extend to America’s energy mix and electricity grid, exemplified ironically by California, the very state leading the charge on EV mandates. In the face of a heat wave, California had to plead with residents to refrain from charging their electric vehicles to conserve energy.
In light of these multifaceted challenges, it is abundantly clear that consumers are not prepared for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Given their impracticality and the inadequacies of supporting infrastructure, it is crucial that governments refrain from overstepping market mechanisms to impose an inferior product on drivers.
Despite the prevailing narrative promoting electric vehicles, Business Insider’s report underscores the growing sentiment among dealerships that some simply do not want them anymore. As the auto industry navigates the evolving landscape, it remains to be seen how this resistance will shape the future of EVs in America.