TO THE EDITOR:
In a perfect world, I would agree with Keith Crain's April 24 column, "It is time to pull the plug." But we don't live in a perfect world. And it's even more imperfect in states such as New Jersey, where manufacturers face a government mandate in 2018 that could result in them having to sell 10 TIMES more electric vehicles than in 2016. Actually, automakers don't have to sell them; dealers do.
Government mandates have led manufacturers to build an exciting lineup of EVs and other clean cars. Manufacturers can force their dealers to buy these vehicles and place them in inventory.
But without incentives, they won't be placed in service. That's a financial burden on dealers and it offers no environmental benefit.
In a perfect world, we could "find out just how [EVs] will do in the marketplace without a life jacket." This free market analysis may make sense in 40 states, but it ignores the fact that dealers in the 10 ZEV states -- representing 30 percent of all new-vehicle sales in the U.S. -- face EV mandates that can NEVER be achieved without incentives.
Manufacturers must price and equip EVs competitively, and, contrary to Mr. Crain's proposal, government must put its money where its mouth is, offer real financial incentives and hold automakers accountable for retail sales of EVs.
Without these incentives and regulatory changes, dealers will be left to shoulder the financial burden of unwanted inventory automakers are sure to push their way.
JIM APPLETON, President, New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, Trenton, N.J.