I have several stories as to why the dealership model doesn't work well for EVs. Please add your story here.
Ford Dealer Tells Me I Don't Want a CMAX Energi:
I am the Electric Vehicle Program Manager for an electric utility. I took my father, who wants to buy a plug-in vehicle, to the local Ford dealer to get information on the CMAX plug-in. Our dealer has decided to not carry plug-in vehicles and had no information on the three that Ford offers. I asked to speak with the "buyer" of vehicles. We asked him about the CMAX Energi (plug-in) and he told us we don't want one. He said we want the hybrid version. I explained that we want to support plug-in vehicles and we'd like to purchase a plug-in CMAX Energi. He re-explained that we don't want one and that we want a hybrid. I told him that my job entails helping people understand why plug-in cars are good for our economy, environment, and energy security. He re-explained that I don't want one. We left.
Nissan Recommends Changing the Brake Fluid Annually on a Leaf:
The Leaf doesn't require much maintenance; for some reason the recommended annual service (at the dealer) is to change the brake fluid. You might ask yourself if you've ever owned a car that says you should change the brake fluid annually. Especially one with regenerative braking (done by the motor). You then might ask yourself where this requirement came from.
Local Chevy Dealer "Only Carries the Required Number of Volts":
I've had several people tell me that the local Chevy dealer doesn't want to sell Volts. They only carry the minimum number required and don't promote the vehicle. They have a very limited stock of Volts and limited options. They will, however, gladly show you the wide selection of Super Crew Cap F-150s.
At Test Drive Event, I Knew More About the Cars Than the Dealer:
We hosted a great test drive event where various people from the community came out to drive Leafs, Volts, Focus Electrics, CMAX Energis, and Fusion Energis. Although the dealers provided their sales specialists, I knew more about the vehicles than they did (how regenerative braking works, how much one kWh costs, how far a vehicle can travel on one kWh, where grid energy comes from in our state, how long the battery warranty is for, what is fast charging?, where are the batteries?, fuel cost differential between gas and electric versions, what is required at home for charging?, L1 vs L2, etc.). They sales reps were wonderful people - but they still don't understand the cars.
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