- More dealers are saying they have to turn away electric vehicles as demand cools.
- Without early adopters, EVs are a tougher sell.
- As EV growth cools, dealers are the ones left in the lurch.
Electric-car inventory has been piling up on dealership lots this year as companies up their EV production, leading some dealers to say enough is enough. Some are telling automakers they don’t want any more until they can sell what’s sitting, several dealers told Insider.
“We have turned away EV inventory,” said Scott Kunes, the chief operating officer of Kunes Auto and RV Group, which sells Detroit brands as well as Nissan and Mitsubishi in the Midwest. “We need to ensure that we have a good turn on it.”
Automakers are “asking us to make a large investment,” Kunes added, “and we’re just wanting to see some return on that investment.”
Plug-in-vehicle availability is increasing rapidly, a sign the EV-adoption growth curve is about to hit a serious slowdown. A switch from enthusiastic and wealthy early adopters to more apprehensive and budget-minded car shoppers is throwing the electric-car transition for a loop, forcing car companies to change their outlooks and pull back on ambitious EV production goals.
“It’s not just that these vehicles are expensive — which they are. We’re talking about a much more nuanced lifestyle change,” said Sam Fiorani, the vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions. He pointed to differences in the EV ownership experience, including charging and range anxiety, as stoppers for many buyers.
“It’s hard for the average customer to make that leap while spending an extra $10,000,” Fiorani said.