President Joe Biden’s infrastructure program includes provisions for fully equipping the nation for the electric vehicle transformation. The Biden Administration has set aside $174 billion for transportation electrification, prompting an explosion of investment from automakers.
GM has announced that a $2.3 billion plant will open in 2023 to produce 500,000 electric vehicle batteries, Honda has dedicated to only selling electric vehicles by 2040, Hyundai is going to invest $7 billion in EV production in the United States, and Ford has revealed that 80% of all Lincolns generated could soon be emission-free. EV drivers in Olathe may now charge their automobiles for free at Indian Creek Library, which is located in Kansas.
Unfortunately for Kansas consumers, poor state policy is proving to be a significant impediment. With its ban on direct-to-consumer sales and a disproportionate license price for electric and hybrid vehicles, Kansas, which is presently connected for last in the United States Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, is deliberately discouraging the purchase of EVs.
Kansas has made it unlawful for electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla, to sell directly to consumers under the pretense of consumer protection. Dealer franchise regulations prohibit direct sales, a policy that has been in place for decades to protect consumers against vertical integration and monopolization. This restriction is long past its expiration date in today’s world of endless information at your fingertips and strong competition in the auto business. It serves no purpose other than to stifle consumer choice while delivering little value in terms of consumer safety.
As a result, many electric vehicle manufacturers have abandoned the dealership model entirely. Because of the revolutionary nature of electric vehicles, a standard franchised dealership model might not be the most efficient method to bring these environmentally friendly automobiles to market. Operating a solo dealership incurs additional costs and introduces a middleman into the sales process, which can lead to consumer price inflation. This is why, like Tesla, many electric vehicle firms have chosen to operate outside of the conventional dealership paradigm. We also know that online shopping is on the rise, based on the effectiveness of direct-to-consumer channels in the used automobile market (where the direct sale is legal).
In addition to the direct-sale ban, Kansas penalizes electric vehicle owners with registration fees and higher license. In Kansas, the normal automobile registration charge ranges from $30 to $40. The registration fee for consumers who choose to purchase and register an electric vehicle for environmental reasons is more than 200 percent higher, at $100. This is extremely discriminatory, and treating EVs on par with normal passenger vehicles would be a much better strategy.