Why aren't Ford dealers required to have fast chargers?

Mach-Lee

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Dorsch Ford in Green Bay stepped up, and now there is ONE fast charger in the Green Bay area.

Yes, you may wait in line to use it, but there is ONE!

Strangely its not part of the Ford network, its ChargePoint as confusing as that is.
Okay fair point, the Amish still use buggy whips in central Wisconsin.😉
Sweet, I can go to Green Bay now. I'll have to watch out for the Amish buggies on the way.

 

dbsb3233

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Buggy whip thinking, I'm sort of wondering if Ford dealerships should survive if they have that attitude 🤔. If you want to survive you need to figure out why your competition is kicking your ass, not double down on your buggy whip past.
Which is gradually what will happen, if the business case for dealerships gradually fades.

You can call it "buggy whip thinking", but it's really just a matter of business viability. It's not like selling EVs alone with very little service or parts sales will generate enough revenues to keep dealerships going at anywhere near the level they currently exist at. So of course their incentive is to stay in business with what generates enough revenue for them to stay in business.
 

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I'm confused by Ford selling EV's and not at least requiring their dealerships to have fast DC charging stations. I'm nearing delivery of my Mustang Mach-E GT and likely won't be able to make a trip from Saint Paul MN to Green Bay without hours of slow charging. There are tons of Ford dealers along that trip, and not one of them has a fast charger.
Most of them don't even have a 240v plug. This doesn't meet my expectations at all.

As I've driven this route for years
. I expected no problem for this route with all the dealers. Then I stopped by the dealerships and found NOTHING at theses dealership to fill in the charging gaps. Does anyone else expect more from FORD dealerships?
I dont know that they all should have them but in the charging desert zones it would be helpful.
 

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I don’t expect a Ford dealership to have L3 charging available for me. I expect commercial refueling stations to be constructed along the major travel corridors. Unfortunately, in a lot of areas it’s a slow process. 😕🐩

WRT “Fast” charging, that is what L2 charging has been called for many years. L3/CCS charging is “Ultra-Fast” or “DCFC” charging. 🤪🐩
 


dbsb3233

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I dont know that they all should have them but in the charging desert zones it would be helpful.
Charging deserts certainly need DCFC. But whether they should be located at dealerships is another matter.

There's not really any inherent responsibility for dealerships to provide vehicle refueling. They're in the vehicle sales/service/parts business, not the refueling business. A few choose to add a 25kw DCFC as a perk, but that's rare for good reason. It rarely makes sense for them.

Plus dealerships are usually poor locations for DCFC anyway. Restaurants, stores, and travel plazas right off the highway are better fits for drivers than sitting around at a dealership.
 

ctenidae

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Maybe not required to, but certainly should be encouraged to. No other reason for an EV owner to visit...
 

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I could really only see a case for a really low grade “fast” Charger, like a 50kw. That could give some peace of mind, and speed up fill ups before delivering a new/used car when EVs are more mainstream. Anything faster is kind of a waste because as soon as the highway rest stop infrastructure gets built out a little more no one is going to go 15 miles out of their way to charge at a ford dealer with inconvenient amenities.
 

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Maybe not required to, but certainly should be encouraged to. No other reason for an EV owner to visit...
To visit a dealership, you mean? Well, sure, but that's true for nearly any business. Little reason for an EV owner to visit a gas station either, or a Napa Auto Parts, or a Pepboys. But that doesn't mean it makes sense for them to install DCFC. None of those are particularly good places for EV owners to kill half an hour. (Unless of course the gas station in question is a travel plaza along a highway, in which case it's great. But not because they sell gas, but rather because it's a travel plaza in a good location with food, bathrooms, some supplies, etc.)
 
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ctenidae

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To visit a dealership, you mean? Well, sure, but that's true for nearly any business. Little reason for an EV owner to visit a gas station either, or a Napa Auto Parts, or a Pepboys. But that doesn't mean it makes sense for them to install DCFC. None of those are particularly good places for EV owners to kill half an hour. (Unless of course the gas station in question is a travel plaza along a highway, in which case it's great. But not because they sell gas, but rather because it's a travel plaza in a good location with food, bathrooms, some supplies, etc.)
It makes a certain amount of business sense for a dealership that sells EVs to encourage EV drivers to stop in. Wander the lot and showroom for 20 minutes, have a coffee, and maybe start thinking about your next car.

Some sort of encouragement, maybe some subsidy from Ford (or whatever mfg the dealer sells) could be a worthwhile marketing expense. Not a requirement, but an encouragement in the service of giving people who aren't on the lot for service some reason to visit.

For "any other business" it depends on what they need to do to attract visits. Not many parts at NAPA for an EV driver to buy, so no reason to encourage EV drivers to visit.
 
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dbsb3233

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It makes a certain amount of business sense for a dealership that sells EVs to encourage EV drivers to stop in. Wander the lot and showroom for 20 minutes, have a coffee, and maybe start thinking about your next car.

Some sort of encouragement, maybe some subsidy from Ford (or whatever mfg the dealer sells) could be a worthwhile marketing expense. Not a requirement, but an encouragement in the service of giving people who aren't on the lot for service some reason to visit.

For "any other business" it depends on what they need to do to attract visits. Not many parts at NAPA for an EV driver to buy, so no reason to encourage EV drivers to visit.
I just don't think car purchases are very foot-traffic driven, such that they would benefit greatly from spending hundreds of $thousands on DCFC. Especially since most people with EVs already have a fairly new car for which they have no interest in trading it in on something different. People usually only go to dealerships because they need to, or have made the decision that it's time for such a big ticket purchase. Like buying a new house.

As an EV driver, it wouldn't be a top choice of mine for a road trip stop either. Of course, if it's the only option, so be it. I'll stop at a cemetery if that's where the only DCFC is for 100 miles. :cool: But it's way down the list of most useful and desired places to stop and spend 30 minutes on a road trip. And I don't see hardly any value to the dealership (just the opposite, in fact - it would likely be a significant net loss). They're usually not located conveniently right off the highway for road-trippers either.

The fact that it says Ford on the sign out front and Ford on the car logo doesn't give me any cause to think Ford dealerships should start offering refueling services. They need a little L2 for their own internal purposes, of course (keeping their own EVs charged for sale), but that's a different matter.
 

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I feel like it wouldn't be hard for dealerships to both do DCFC and make it worth their while. We don't have our MME yet, but along the route we usually take for one common trip between SE Michigan and Indianapolis, I only encounter an EA station if I get on the Ohio Turnpike and spend more money to use that, and it adds time to the trip. The way we usually take seems to have one DCFC and it's a 50kW at a Harley Davidson dealer... So I guess HD can figure it out but not Ford dealerships, and maybe I am giving them too much credit as I haven't used it yet.

The thing is, dealerships make money on parts and service way more than they do on new car sales. So make me visiting your dealership for 30 minutes worth both of our time. Offer the option to schedule installing OEM mud flaps on my MME while I wait for the car to charge. Have some movie theater concessions level overpriced snacks and drinks for us and the kids. I would be down for it, hang out in an air conditioned waiting area with drinks and snacks for 30 minutes instead of standing outside at an EA station? Done deal. Yeah, I am encouraging high priced concessions or whatever, but I want the dealer to get their nibble too, and nobody is forcing you to buy it and I only need to do this trip a few times a year, so it isn't going to financially ruin us.

I am just saying, if Ford dealers really got outside the box of doing the bare minimum, maybe they could find some success here. Install four 50kW stations, I am fine with that for some of the lower volume corridors. There would still be higher power EA (or other major network) stations for those that need 150+, and it might even cut down on the Chevy Bolt owners plugging in to one of the only 350kW chargers at those larger networks too. Park a Lightning and Mach-E nearby for those non-Ford owners to check out (obviously when having those sitting on the lot is more realistic, before anyone jumps on that).

It's expensive, but many states have significant cost sharing benefits to doing commercial installs. And if you do it right, more than just two poorly maintained DCFCs in the hidden part of the dealership lot where the porters go to smoke weed, you may even find it to be financially beneficial. Not going to replace general dealership income, but profit is profit if you do it right.

Edit:
Also for those saying that dealerships don't need to be in the charging business any more than they are in the gasoline business, that ignores that in the early 1900s the first filling stations were typically add-ons to existing businesses, like dealerships.

" Bowser’s invention launched a new “filling station” business, typically offshoots of other merchants. "

Much like it's at times disingenuous to compare the current state of EV development to the 120+ years of constant ICE vehicle R&D, it's also disingenuous to indicate that dealerships not selling gas means they don't have any incentive to install chargers. It's completely acceptable to at least hope that dealerships will take part in this gap period much like merchants did in the early ICE era.
 
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dbsb3233

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Have some movie theater concessions level overpriced snacks and drinks for us and the kids.
I'd rather hang out at a fast food place or Walmart/Target that has not-overpriced snacks and drinks. That's next to the interstate.

I really can't think of a single dealership I've seen during any of our 15,000 miles of road trips in the Mach-E where I'd say "I wish the DCFC were at that dealership rather than where EA put it".
 

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I'd rather hang out at a fast food place or Walmart/Target that has not-overpriced snacks and drinks. That's next to the interstate.

I really can't think of a single dealership I've seen during any of our 15,000 miles of road trips in the Mach-E where I'd say "I wish the DCFC were at that dealership rather than where EA put it".
That's fine, I was pretty clear in my response that I wasn't saying it had to replace EA stations and would be more suitable for routes that didn't have EA coverage. You may not need it, which again, is fine, but I see three Ford dealerships along our usual route from SE Michigan to Indianapolis and 0 EA stations or other DCFC aside from that Harley dealership, and to use the EA charger means using a toll road.

So again, it would be good as an option and I was only highlighting how dealerships could even make some money on it. If you don't need them, don't use them. But there are clearly use cases beyond what you have encountered, it's a big country.
 

dbsb3233

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That's fine, I was pretty clear in my response that I wasn't saying it had to replace EA stations and would be more suitable for routes that didn't have EA coverage. You may not need it, which again, is fine, but I see three Ford dealerships along our usual route from SE Michigan to Indianapolis and 0 EA stations or other DCFC aside from that Harley dealership, and to use the EA charger means using a toll road.

So again, it would be good as an option and I was only highlighting how dealerships could even make some money on it. If you don't need them, don't use them. But there are clearly use cases beyond what you have encountered, it's a big country.
My point is simply that, while yes there are still many holes where we need more DCFC chargers, dealerships are usually not good fits for them. A shopping plaza with restaurants in the lot is better... a convenience store is better... a mall is better... a grocery store is better...

Those are the types of things most people would find useful to kill 30 minutes at during a charge, not car shopping.

 

 
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