Car Dealers Versus Electric Vehicles

Car Dealers Versus Electric Vehicles

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Alexander Sammon on the political power of a reactionary car cartel.


Accelerating the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) is a centerpiece of Joe Biden’s climate policy. In making this push, the most likely choke point will come not from the car companies but from car dealers. Slate writer Alexander Sammon recently attended the annual conference of the National Automobile Dealers Association and filed a fascinating report detailing just how adamantly opposed dealers are to EVs on both ideological grounds (most dealers are staunch conservatives) and economic ones (EVs require less repair, a major source of dealer profit). The article is unusually rich and I highly recommend reading it. 

I talked to Alexander about his report and the larger politics of auto dealership. We discuss how dealers are rent seekers who benefit from policies that stifle change and harm the consumers. They also form the economic and organizing backbone of the GOP. We also address a critique of his piece by policy analyst Matt Stoller.

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