Initially, most Ford dealers were keen to sign up not only for Ford’s new Model e Certified EV sales program when it was announced last year, but the majority of those entities opted in for the higher-tier Elite status, too. This was notable as Ford dealers that wish to sell EVs in the future will need to opt in to the Model e Certified program in some capacity, which requires rather significant investments to participate in, along with a number of stipulations. However, the program itself has faced some backlash from select dealers and a handful of lawsuits to boot, and based on some of that feedback, Ford has made some changes to it in recent months. Now, after we learned that around 400 Ford dealers have dropped out of the Model e Certified program since its inception, a group of 4,000 U.S. car dealers have penned a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to slow down the ongoing EV push, as first reported by Automotive News.
“The reality is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations,” the letter reads. “BEVs are stacking up on our lots. Last year, there was a lot of hope and hype about EVs. Early adopters formed an initial line and were ready to buy these vehicles as soon as we had them to sell. But that enthusiasm has stalled. Today, the supply of unsold BEVs is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships – even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives.”
The letter adds that “while the goals of the regulations are admirable, they require consumer acceptance to become a reality,” noting that an “electric vehicle mandate is unrealistic based on current and forecasted customer demand,” adding “the majority of customers are simply not ready to make the change,” and “today’s current technology is not adequate to support the needs of the majority of our consumers.”
The letter refers to a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that suggests mandating a 60 percent sales mix for EVs by the 2030 model year, a number that would grow to 67 percent by 2032. The letter originated from Mickey Anderson, CEO of Baxter Auto Group, which operates 20 dealerships covering a number of brands including Ford. “What I and other dealers identified early on is that the voice of the customer was really absent from this entire conversation, and there’s no way that we’ll have a scalable solution if we don’t have consumer adoption,” Anderson told Automotive News. “This issue … is getting overly politicized. “This isn’t a red or blue state issue. It’s not about pro-BEV or pro-oil. This letter is 100 percent about the American consumer.”