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Letters to the Editor: People want electric cars, but dealers don’t want to sell them. Let’s change that

A Nissan Leaf and a Tesla Model 3 were available for test drives in San Diego during a "drive and ride" event.
A Nissan Leaf and a Tesla Model 3 were available for test drives in San Diego during a “drive and ride” event in recognition of California’s Clean Air Day on Oct. 7.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: Your piece on electric vehicle demand states that “consumers aren’t there yet” and that traditional automakers have “struggled to sell electric cars.”

False. Most of the time, a traditional auto dealership will attempt to dissuade you from buying their EVs. They aren’t struggling to sell their EVs; rather, they are struggling not to sell you their EVs because they make virtually nothing on parts and service.

And, if the automakers really wanted to sell EVs, they’d build more compelling products.

Meanwhile, the world’s leading EV manufacturer, Tesla, can’t make its vehicles fast enough. Tesla is building new factories on three continents to satisfy a steadily growing demand. They make EVs that people want: beautiful styling, exceptional performance and an unparalleled safety record.

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Furthermore, the analyst quoted states that most households can’t afford EVs. Numerous EVs on the market today sell for less than the average price of a new car. And, used EVs are flooding the market.

Zan Dubin-Scott, Santa Monica

The writer is co-founder of National Drive Electric Week.

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To the editor: You missed one large problem in getting consumer demand for EVs to increase.

How many people are apartment renters? Where would they charge their cars? What kind of infrastructure improvements would that take? It would be a real problem if all those people had to drive to the nearest shopping mall and sit for an hour to charge their cars just to get to and from work.

Let’s try a little smaller first: How about moving everyone to hybrids first then work on all-electric?

For the record, I drive a plug-in hybrid that is powered by my home’s solar energy system.

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Dana Bingham, Apple Valley

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To the editor: Currently, EVs are more expensive than their equivalent gas-powered counterparts, and fast-charging infrastructure is lacking. A way to fix this that’s rarely mentioned is with a “feebate” — a fee on polluting vehicles matched with a rebate on zero-emissions ones.

The rebate should be sufficient to make EVs equivalently priced with gas cars, with the fee set as needed to cover the cost of the rebates.

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EVs are cheaper per mile and need much less maintenance. Without the price premium, people will buy EVs, causing prices to drop and new chargers built to meet demand, allowing the feebate to be lowered and eventually eliminated. More chargers and increasing battery capacities ease range anxiety.

Randall Gellens, San Diego


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