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 one in five 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.”