January 21, 2022 – Most Americans cannot buy a car directly from the automaker. In 17 states, laws forbid any automaker from opening a store and selling its vehicles directly to customers. Another 11 states allow only one automaker, Tesla, to open stores and sell directly to state residents.
The question of whether dealerships or EV automakers can more quickly sell EVs to America, the market is eminently qualified to decide. First-time EV shoppers have lots of questions – about battery range, long-term upkeep, even whether they need to do anything different at the DMV – and only full-time, EV-only salespeople can answer those questions well. A third-party dealership’s employees won’t be up to the task.
Car dealerships’ business model relies heavily enough on maintenance that they might quickly find that they can exist only in the economic niche created by internal-combustion engines.