Car Dealerships and the General Population Disagree About the Future of EVs
When it comes to the future of electric vehicles, dealerships, and car owners disagree on how the market will evolve. Cox Automotive recently released a study called the ‘2023 Cox Automotive Path to EV Adoption: Consumer and Dealer Perspectives Study’. In this study, Cox surveyed over 1,024 consumers and 152 regarding the future of EVs.
This study analyzed EV considerations for buyers, EV purchase barriers among consumers, fuel-saving considerations for consumers, and even the mode in which consumers prefer to purchase an EV, either online or in person. This study also considered the viewpoints of long-standing dealers in the industry and their thoughts on the future of EVs in the marketplace. Here is everything you need to know about how car dealerships and consumers view the future of EVs in the automotive marketplace.
Consumers are ready for EVs, but dealers are hesitant.
According to Cox Automotive, consumers are confident in an electrified future. This Cox study indicates that 51% of consumers are considering a new or used EV for their next vehicle purchase, this number is up from 38% in 2021.
This is a huge increase in interest, and while the country may be large with many different stances on EVs, it is shocking to see a majority of consumers considering an EV as their next vehicle. Regardless of EV preference, 53% of consumers believe that EVs are the future of the automotive industry in America.
However, dealers are surprisingly hesitant about the future of EVs. According to this study, only 31% of dealers believe that EVs will eventually take over as the favored vehicle on American roads.
Oftentimes it seems like automotive brands are pushing EVs into the marketplace, which makes it surprising that these dealers are hesitant to see EVs take over the American automotive industry.
Dealers need more support before EVs can be taken seriously
Dealers have operated nearly identically for years now. While technology has made vehicle sales easier, and many purchases happen online, EVs are an entirely new type of technology for a largely underequipped dealer network nationwide.
Dealers are not simply car sellers, they have enormous service and repair departments as well, which keep consumers coming back in the future. When it comes to EVs, these other departments are underequipped for these new types of vehicles.
According to this study, many dealers feel undereducated about EV battery life cycles and overall servicing of electric vehicles. To make matters worse, some dealers who are aiming to start selling EVs do not have fast chargers at their dealerships, making charging and servicing these vehicles nearly impossible.
Consumers have seen EVs develop quickly over time. In just a few short years, fast charging networks have been built across the nation, companies like Tesla have grown from a niche luxury company to an affordable EV company, and traditional companies like Ford are growing their network of charging stations to compete with the rest of the market.
Despite these growths on the consumer side of the discussion, dealers have been left in the dark about many details about EV ownership, making them feel underequipped to handle the task of selling these vehicles. Only time will tell if companies will start to educate their dealers on the future of EVs, but those companies who invest in their dealers are bound to have more success in the long run.