Electric vehicles fly off dealer lots amid high gas prices

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Skyrocketing gasoline prices are prompting more and more people to switch to electric vehicles. At Gary Rome Hyudai in Holyoke, there are no electric cars on the lot, thanks to increased demand.

“It’s a learning curve for sure. It really is like a spaceship,” said Julian Dupont of Chicopee.

Dupont was charging his electric vehicle on Tuesday. With just 18 minutes, a “super charger” at Gary Rome Hyundai will give it 80% charge.

“So far I’ve only been here a few minutes and I’ve already got 67 more miles,” added Dupont.

The cost is nothing compared to a trip to the gas station in his other vehicle, a truck, which costs around $130 these days.

“For it to hit the same range, you’re looking at around $15, so you do the math there and figure it out,” Dupont noted.

Dupont got the electric car in April and the timing was right as high gas prices are driving up demand for electric vehicles.

“We’ve gone from having no electric vehicle sales to selling more than 30 vehicles a month,” said Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Auto Group.

Rome told Western Mass News they are selling off every electric vehicle they have. Most of them are sold before they even arrive at the dealership.

“It’s a good problem, but not really. We would like to have more,” Rome added.

Demand combined with supply chain issues and shortages of computer chips is creating a shortage. Rome said infrastructure will only grow as demand increases.

In a recent report by car sales website Co-Pilot, Massachusetts ranked fifth in the nation for the number of electric vehicle charging stations. There are two chargers at Gary Rome Hyundai and by pulling up the app, Charge Hub, you can find plenty of nearby charging locations.
Statewide, there are more than 2,000 charging stations.

“People have range anxiety. They think they’re going to run out of charge, which is really no different than if you leave your house without gas,” Rome explained.

Of course, there is also the initial cost. According to Kelly Blue Book, buying an electric vehicle costs an average of nearly $20,000 more than a traditional car, but Rome said there are incentives: $7,500 federal rebate and $500 state rebates.

The dealership also offers an EV rental program, so you can try before you buy, but all six vehicles are leased.

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