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We Need Volunteers! Join Our Nationwide Campaign on the Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience

Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States, representing almost a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Cars powered by gas are responsible for the bulk of these emissions, and vehicle pollution is not only disruptive to our climate — it also increases the risk of health issues like asthma, bronchitis, cancer, and premature death.

We have the tools to clean up our transportation system, limiting the impacts of the climate crisis and improving public health. They include improved public transit systems, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, and changing development patterns to ensure people don’t have to live far from their daily necessities. But while we’re overhauling our transportation system to limit car use, we must also electrify the vehicles so many of us use to get around — and ensure they’re powered by 100 percent clean energy.

In 2021, President Biden announced a goal that 50 percent of all new car sales would be electric by 2030. Automakers are recognizing the importance of an all-electric future, and the industry has committed to investing almost half a trillion dollars in electric vehicles (EVs) this decade.

While the Sierra Club continues to advocate for lowering the costs of EVs, providing incentives for consumers, and increasing charging infrastructure nationwide, many barriers exist right now for consumers in the market for an EV. Car dealers and several automakers, such as Toyota, are slowing down the transition to electric vehicles. Dealerships have opposed policies that would allow EVs to be sold directly to consumers, while Toyota is lobbying globally against stricter emissions standards and electric vehicle initiatives.

You can have a huge impact in making EVs more accessible for everyone and holding the industry accountable for delaying the much-needed transition to clean cars. Sign up here!

In 2019, over 500 Sierra Club volunteers surveyed 900 dealerships across the country to examine how EVs were (or were not) being sold to consumers. Shockingly, we found that only a quarter of dealerships offered EVs for sale — meaning that 75 percent did not! Of the dealerships that did sell EVs, numerous volunteers reported that salespeople lacked knowledge of the EVs they were selling. In some instances, salespeople encouraged our volunteers to purchase a gas vehicle over an EV. Others visited dealerships only to find that the EVs were not charged for a test drive. We released the results of the survey in a report, which was covered by national media outlets like Reuters, The Atlantic, and Forbes.

Our volunteers also reported positive experiences when surveying dealerships. After taking an EV for a test drive and hearing more information from the salesperson, some volunteers ended up purchasing an EV at a dealership or Tesla store. In the 2019 report, we highlighted over 90 dealerships and stores across the country where volunteers had great experiences shopping for an EV.

BEV= Fully battery electric vehicle. These cars have no tailpipes. PHEV= Plug in electric vehicle (also known as a “hybrid”). These cars run on gas as well.

As gas prices have skyrocketed this year, interest in EVs has soared. We’re launching our campaign to survey dealerships again this year to find out how well auto dealers are responding to this surge of demand. We’re relying on volunteers to visit local car dealerships and stores and let us know how their EV shopping experience went. Whether you’re in the market for an EV, you’re curious for the future, or you just want to help, your participation will go a long way.

This is a fun interactive campaign where you’ll have the chance to learn more about EVs and even take one out for a spin. We’ll provide all of the tools, resources, and training to make sure your visit is a success.

Can we count on you?

Courtesy of the Sierra Club blog.
By Hieu Le 

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