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Car dealerships put in a lot of work to not sell you an electric car

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Head to a Ford dealership and ask about an F-150. You will be shown its features, invited on a test drive, and treated to a carefully practiced sales pitch detailing the truck’s strength, power, and durability. Ask about an electric car, and you might have a very different experience.
Experts and advocates have consistently found dealers and manufacturers putting as little effort as possible into selling electric cars.

In 2016, the Sierra Club sent volunteers to more than 300 dealerships around the country to record their experience shopping for an electric vehicle. The results were dismaying, to say the least. More than 1 in 5 Ford and Chevy dealers had failed to charge an EV so it could be taken for a test drive. Only around half of salespeople explained how to fuel a plug-in vehicle, and only a third discussed the tax credits available to buyers. “The dealership had no idea about the state and federal tax credits,” said a volunteer in California. “They said it was the policy of the company to not talk about tax incentives because they were not tax experts.”

Many volunteers described dealers who were woefully incompetent or, in some cases, openly hostile to EVs. “Senior sales staff had no idea what the battery electric vehicles’ range was. He called it a go-cart,” said a volunteer in New York. “There were no EVs in stock, and [the dealer] stated that he has no interest in ever selling an electric vehicle,” said another in Maine. “I couldn’t do a test drive because the key was lost. I was encouraged to purchase a non-electric vehicle instead,” said another in Connecticut. If dealers are reluctant to sell EVs, that has an impact on consumers. Studies show that drivers are more likely to buy an electric car after they take one for a spin.

Dealers may be........

© Fast Company