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Dealerships On Track to Invest $5.5 Billion in EV Infrastructure



New franchise dealerships are leading investments in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. While manufacturers are in the headlines announcing new vehicles and timelines, local dealerships are on the ground building the ecosystem to support them. NADA estimates that franchise dealerships are on track to spend $5.5 billion in EV infrastructure installments, based on available data from a selection of brands.

Investment requirements from manufacturers vary widely with estimated costs ranging from $100,000 to over $1 million per store, which do not necessarily include the specialized equipment purchases needed to service EVs or the additional costs from local utilities for extending new power lines or adding transformers. Batteries add significant weight to vehicles, which require heavier-duty forklifts, safety systems, and battery storage. Those costs can easily add over $40,000 to the bill. 

In many cases, installing electric chargers requires a more comprehensive electric system, including new transformers and power lines. Installations of this magnitude can involve major construction ventures, which are accompanied by permits, supply chain delays, and environmental safety requirements, all barriers that dealers energetically overcome. 

When a consumer purchases a vehicle, they expect their dealership salesperson or product specialist to provide everything they need to know to successfully care for the new vehicle. As the frontline of consumer education, dealers are investing in staff training across departments so that consumers are given the most accurate, current, and complete information about their vehicle. Some dealers are taking that work to the next step with dedicated EV education programs, designed to assuage common concerns like range anxiety and ensure consumers make informed purchases.

“Dealers are essential to EV sales, service and the overall ownership experience. Dealers across the country are excited about electrification,” said Mike Stanton, president and CEO of NADA. “The proof is in their actions. Beyond their investments, auto dealers and their staff are educating consumers, talking to people one-on-one about the new technology and how it will fit their lifestyle.”

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