Larisa Manescu, firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONWIDE - Today, Vox reported on the Sierra Club’s new report “Rev Up Electric Vehicles: A Nationwide Study of the Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience,” which shows that the U.S. auto industry is largely failing to meet consumer demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and automakers are greenwashing their EV commitments.
This report comes right before the Environmental Protection Agency’s public hearing this week on its proposed standards for light-duty cars. The proposed car standards cover model years 2027 to 2032 and are expected to lead to clean, electric cars making up as much as 67 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the country by 2032.
Based on over 800 surveys from Sierra Club staff and volunteers who called or visited auto dealerships and stores across all 50 states to inquire about EVs, the study had several key findings:
- Sixty-six percent of car dealerships nationwide did not have a single EV available for sale, while 34% of dealers did have an EV available for sale.
- Supply chain, inventory issues, and automaker allocation of EVs to dealerships created EV availability barriers. Of the 66% of car dealerships that did not have an EV for sale, 44% reported they would offer an EV for sale if they could get one.
- Some car dealerships refuse or are still not ready to sell EVs to consumers. Of the 66% of car dealerships that did not have an EV for sale, 45% of those dealers reported they would not offer an EV for sale regardless of automaker allocation and supply chain constraints.
- Only 27% of dealers in the Western region had an EV available for sale – lower than all other regions. However, the Western region sold far more EVs than the rest of the country and accounted for 45% of the nation’s EV sales in 2022, indicating that the low availability is a result of high sales turnover and high consumer demand.
- Mercedes-Benz (owned by Daimler AG) had the best EV availability among car brands: 90% of the Mercedes-Benz dealerships surveyed had an EV available for sale.
- Toyota and Honda had the worst EV availability. Only 11% of Honda dealers and 15% of Toyota dealers had an EV available for sale.
Electric vehicles exceeded five percent of new car sales in 2022, crossing the necessary tipping point for mass adoption according to Bloomberg research, and by the end of the year even reached ten percent.
“We are in a climate crisis and at a major inflection point for the American electric vehicle industry, and yet automakers are still pumping out millions of gas-powered vehicles while they lag on their EV commitments,” said Sierra Club Clean Transportation for All Director Katherine Garcia. “To help avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption and protect our communities, it’s important that we accelerate the transition to all-electric vehicles. Enough empty promises: The auto industry must step on the accelerator and get electric vehicles on dealership lots now.”
Testimonials from the surveys showed a general willingness from dealerships to sell electric vehicles, if they had the inventory:
- Volunteer surveying a Chevrolet (GM) dealership in Minnesota: "Dealer regretted that new EVs were only available by order, with delivery several months out."
- Volunteer surveying a Ford dealership in Virginia: “Dealer was happy to help me order an EV, but had no EV in stock that I could look at or test drive."
- Volunteer surveying a Toyota dealership in Maryland: “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.”
- Volunteer surveying a Nissan dealership in Washington: "The dealership has sold over 1,700 Leafs over the past 10 years. Right now they cannot get more than one at a time and it is sold immediately."
The full 2023 report can be found here.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.