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Electric vehicles flying off dealership lots amid high gas prices

Sky high gas prices have more people making the switch to electric vehicles.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Sky high gas prices have more people making the switch to electric vehicles. At Gary Rome Hyudai in Holyoke, there isn’t an electric car on the lot, thanks to the increase in demand.

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

Dupont was charging up his electric vehicle on Tuesday. With just 18 minutes at this a “super charger” at Gary Rome Hyundai will give him 80 percent charge.

“Right now, I’ve only been here for a few minutes and I’ve already got 67 miles added,” Dupont added.

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

“To get this up to the same range, you’re looking at about $15, so you do the math there and figure it out,” Dupont noted.

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

“We came from selling no electric vehicles at all to selling over 30 a month,” said Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Auto Group.

Rome told Western Mass News they’re selling 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 wish we had more,” Rome added.

Demand combined with supply chain issues and computer chip shortages are creating a scarcity. Rome said infrastructure will only grow with the increased demand.

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

“People have range anxiety. They think they’re going to run out of charge, which really isn’t any different than if you left your house with no gas,” Rome explained.

Of course, there’s also the upfront cost. According to Kelly Blue Book, purchasing an electric vehicle is on average nearly $20,000 more than a traditional car, but Rome said there are incentives: $7,500 federal rebate and $2,500 state rebate.

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

Editor’s Note: The value of the state rebate on electric vehicles has been updated.