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The biggest concern for automotive dealers when it comes to electrifying the used car market is the high price of electric vehicles, according to a new report.
Startline Motor Finance released the report on Nov. 21 using data compiled by APD Global Research.
FILE: Electric cars are parked at a charging station in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File / AP Newsroom)
In the report, Startline said 58% of dealers believe EVs are too expensive when compared with gasoline-powered cars.
It also said 25% of dealers are concerned about the lack of onsite charging facilities, while 14% said their sales team is not trained or ready to sell EVs.
Dealers were asked what would help them adapt to the electrification of their used inventory, which 61% said they wanted cheaper EVs.
Robotic arms weld components of Rivian R1T electric vehicle (EV) pickup trucks at the company’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, US., on Monday, April 11, 2022. Rivian Automotive Inc. produced 2,553 vehicles in the first quarter as the mak (Photographer: Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg / Getty Images)
Less than half of the dealers, or 38%, said EVs with longer range would help adapt, and 28% said there needed to be more variety on the market, or more models.
The government set a deadline of 2030 for automobile manufacturers to move away from gasoline-powered vehicles and toward electric.
One-in-five dealers, or 20%, said they wanted to see that deadline extended, the report said, while 13% wanted to see more training programs for the sales staff and 11% wanted more financing options.
A Summit White 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV and a Gray Ghost Metallic 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV parked in front of a Hertz rental location in Michigan. (General Motors)
In a press released, Startline Motor Finance CEO Paul Burgess said Ford’s announcement to end production of the Fiesta "felt like a watershed moment in mainstream car manufacturers moving towards electrification."
With the announcement, he said the question becomes what low-cost EVs will replace cars like the Fiesta?
"Dealers are clearly worried about the affordability of EVs, the suitability of their current premises to retail them, the ability of their sales staff to sell them and the appetite of lenders to finance them," Burgess said. "With eight years to go until the 2030 production deadline, it feels as though the motor industry still has much to do to help dealers make the EV transition."
He added that more effort should go into showing consumers the comparable running costs of EVs to gas-powered cars, even with a higher upfront purchase price.
"This seems like a crucial point when it comes to creating market acceptance," Burgess said.
Ford President Kumar Galhotra provides insight into when that price point could be available to the consumer and what it would entail to make that happen.