Letters: Tesla Doesn’t Threaten Dealers

Recent publications in The Courant have highlighted a common concern that the direct sale of electric vehicles from manufacturers to consumers will result in job losses at car dealerships [May 23, Letters, “Dealerships Matter“; May 23, courant.com, “Auto Dealers Fighting Tesla Pitch to Sell Cars Directly to Customers“]. Analysis done by Acadia Center, however, demonstrates that this suspicion is unfounded.

Acadia Center demonstrated that no jobs have been lost at car dealerships in its report “Direct Sales of Electric Vehicles in Connecticut: Assessment of Employment Impacts at Existing Car Dealerships.” The analysis looked at all major occupations within the auto dealership employment sector in nearby states that allow for electric vehicle direct sales, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the New York Department of Labor.

Read the full letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant here.

Tesla pledges 10 CT stores, dealerships doubtful

A report this month by the Acadia Center disputed those job-loss concerns, finding that New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey have experienced “no evident decline in dealership jobs” since they started allowing direct sales.

Read the full article from the Hartford Business Journal here.

Analysis Shows Direct Sales of Electric Vehicles Have Not Negatively Impacted Car Dealership Employment Levels

HARTFORD, CT — Acadia Center today released a new analysis that shows there has been no negative impact on car dealership employment levels in states that allow the direct sales of electric vehicles (EVs) to consumers. Over the past several years, Connecticut has debated whether to permit the direct sale of EVs by manufacturers. Connecticut is one of only a few states that prohibit this practice. The Connecticut General Assembly is currently deciding whether to advance H.B. 7097, a bill that would allow direct sales of EVs in the state.

“EV direct sales are a smart move with no downside for Connecticut,” said Bill Dornbos, Connecticut Director and Senior Attorney at Acadia Center. “Not only does it help open the EV market for consumers, but it will also help reduce the state’s increasing greenhouse gas emissions while bringing in more sales tax revenue. We need new policies like direct sales that remove barriers to EV market penetration so we can realize their immense economic and climate benefits.”

Progress on EV direct sales has been stalled over the speculation that direct sales could negatively impact employment at existing Connecticut car dealerships. Today’s empirical analysis shows that this concern has not materialized in other states that have EV direct sales.

“This research puts to rest the main argument against EV direct sales in Connecticut,” said Emily Lewis O’Brien, Policy Analyst at Acadia Center. “We hope the debate can now move forward and EV manufacturers can bring more of these clean vehicles to the state. Direct sales are just another tool to promote EVs and give consumers more clean transportation options.”

With today’s energy mix in the Northeast, EVs emit about 75% less greenhouse gases than conventional vehicles. EVs also cost about half as much to fuel, even with low gas prices, and provide major benefits to public health, energy independence, and the regional economy. Recognizing these benefits, Connecticut committed with other states in the Northeast to put 1.4 million zero-emission vehicles, primarily EVs, on the road by 2025.

Acadia Center analyzed employment data in the auto dealer industry from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012-2016 and the New York Department of Labor for 2009-2016. The report is available here.

Media Contacts:

Emily Lewis O’Brien, Policy Analyst
elewis@acadiacenter.org, 860-246-7121 x207

Bill Dornbos, Connecticut Director & Senior Attorney
wdornbos@acadiacenter.org, 860-246-7121 x202