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Published on May 14th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Connecticut Tries Unconventional Approach To Supporting EV Sales

May 14th, 2014 by  

Connecticut recently began a new program aimed at boosting EV sales though the somewhat unconventional approach of incentivizing the dealers themselves, rather than the customers.

According to Navigant Research, the new approach will likely help motivate the dealers to put more effort into EVs than they have in the past — this previous lack of a strong push is at least partly down to the fact that, on average, EVs take longer to sell than conventional cars.

Car dealership... Back in the time-period that they made sense in. Image Credit: Dealership via Flickr CCCar dealership… Back in the time-period in which they made sense.
Image Credit: Dealership via Flickr CC

The new approach is based around the recent establishment of the Connecticut Revolutionary Dealer Award — which will be given to the “dealership that sells the highest percentage of EVs, as well as to the dealer that sells the most EVs in total.” (It’s not clear whether of not this award is financial or not. Presumably so, but it’s not entirely clear yet.)

Autoblog Green provides more:

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection recently unveiled what it calls its Connecticut Revolutionary Dealer Award and, in the process, became the first state in the nation to incentivize dealers. The state will be giving out one award to the dealer with the most plug-in vehicles sold during the six months ending July 31, and another award for the dealer with the highest percentage of plug-ins sold.

Connecticut is trying the dealer-centric method instead of offering a customer tax credit or rebate the way that states like California and the federal government do (the fed’s credit is obviously still available to Connecticut EV buyers). Connecticut has also given out more than $177,000 in incentives to entities that deploy plug-in vehicle charging stations. This is all to assist the state’s goal of having electric vehicles represent at least 10% of new vehicles sold by 2022.

Making friends with the dealerships rather than going to battle with them (a la Tesla)? Hard to say if it’ll work or not, but certainly a different approach.

With regards to the ongoing war between Tesla and the car dealerships — it looks as though Tesla may be getting some unexpected support on the matter from the Federal Trade Commission. In a surprise move, three officials from the FTC wrote an open letter sharply criticizing anti-Tesla legislation in several states.

Support from on-high like that certainly isn’t a bad sign, but it’s hard to say outright what kind of effect said support will have. The eventual end of the battle between Tesla and the dealers is probably still quite a ways off…

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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