Connecticut State Officials Coming for Ford’s EV Dealer Plans

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Image: Charlie Neibergall (AP)

Ford and its dealers have reached a tipping point. The company has requirements to sell EVs — namely, over a one million dollar investment — that many dealers across the country have been pushing back on. It’s gotten to the point now that the situation has the attention of state officials in Connecticut. News site CT News Junkie reports that Connecticut state officials object to Ford’s requirements, saying the company is too aggressive with its implementation.

While Ford has been on a hot streak with its popular Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning EVs, dealers that want to get their hands on some of those sales need to invest heavily. Ford has stated that many dealers will need to invest up to $1.2 million for everything from training for sales and tech staff to charger installation and infrastructure.

But then things got weird when Ford says it wanted dealers to invest in EV sales, but make less on each sale by investing in the infrastructure needed for the EVs. Shit hit the fan. Dealer associations in 13 states started saying that the requirements violated franchise laws. Now state officials are getting involved.

Officials in Connecticut from both sides of the aisle are objecting to Ford’s requirements. And it’s down to the wire. Originally. Ford had a deadline of October 31 for dealers to respond to whether or not they would get with the program. Pushback from all sides caused Ford to extend the deadline to December 2, as various state officials called out the company for the EV requirements.

Senator Richard Blumenthal called the plans “egregious” and called for an investigation by the FTC: “I’m convinced there is a case that needs to be investigated here. I’m going to be taking this case to other state authorities including the attorney general, but I think also should be of interest to the Federal Trade Commission, its franchise rules may also be violated here.”

State attorney general William Tong and state rep Roland Lemar also called out Ford, saying dealers shouldn’t be footing the bill for EV infrastructure investment.

Ultimately, Ford has been threatened with consequences if the company doesn’t reconsider its plans. State senator Heather Somers said that Ford if doesn’t rethink its plans, there will be “repercussions on both the state and federal level.”

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