Coalition urges lifting electric-vehicle restrictions

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A coalition of national and regional organizations recently signed a letter supporting lifting state restrictions that prevent the direct sale of electric vehicles (EVs) by manufacturers and removing requirements that all new vehicles must be sold through third-party dealerships.

Despite current restrictions, approximately 80 percent of electric vehicles were sold via direct sales last year, while franchised dealerships sold fewer than three EVs per dealership.

“Some of us frequently find ourselves on different sides of public policy debates,” the letter said. “However, today we find common ground on an issue of considerable public importance concerning sales of electric vehicles. Specifically, we urge that any state laws still prohibiting car companies from selling their cars directly to consumers, or opening service centers for those vehicles, be amended to permit direct sales and service of EVs.”

The letter included 26 signatories, including Securing America’s Future Energy, the Consumer Federation of America, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, EVHybridNoire, Plug In America, and Advanced Energy Economy.

Many of the signatories signed a letter in 2015 that urged the direct sales of all types of vehicles.

Since then, 21 states and the District of Columbia have allowed direct sales, and nine states include an exemption for a single manufacturer.