Sales for Electric Cars On a 'Slow Growth Track'

May 23, 2018

By Britt Terrell

For electric vehicles to truly take off with consumers, car dealerships will have to get on board, and manufacturers will have to find ways to competitively price their cars for American drivers.

A new study about European car-buying in the journal Nature Energy found that car dealers may be hurting the sales and adoption of electric vehicles because salespeople are "dismissive and deceptive."

Brian Deagon, a senior reporter at Investor's Business Daily, said the same is likely true in the United States.

"We're on a slow growth track," Deagon said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar. "Even though we've heard so much about hybrid vehicles and electric cars, they still represent something like 1 percent of the total cars on the road in the U.S."

Electric cars generally cost more than gas cars. Business Insider estimates that the average price ー before subsidies and incentives ー for electric vehicles is around $42,000 compared to $34,000 for the average new car.

Federal and state governments are also beginning to back away from subsidies once granted to companies like Tesla to reduce the price of electric vehicles.

"Here in the state of California, for example, millions and millions have been applied to those subsidies and many consumers have been enticed by these subsidies, saving $7,000 or more," said Deagon. "That's a lot of money."

Car manufacturers will have to find news ways to make electric cars less expensive in the future.

"There is going to be a tremendous amount of familiarization that needs to take place, and it will," said Deagon. "But again, over time, I think people will go into a car lot and go 'Do I get an electric car or a gas car?' and it's going to come down to which one represents the better value for the consumer."

Automakers including Tesla, Ford, GM and BMW are investing billions in electric vehicles, Deagon said. "They'll certainly have the finances to persuade the car dealers at some point to open their doors and promote their cars."

For full interview, click here.