This car reviewer’s experience has to validate Tesla’s argument that traditional auto dealers have neither the expertise nor the interest in selling electric vehicles.

The first time I drove a Chevy Volt three years ago, the salesman barely knew how to turn the car on, and had no clue about electric cars in general. The Nissan salesman showing me a Leaf wasn’t much better.

A couple of months later, at another dealer, the guy who sold me my Volt was at least aware of such exotic concepts as regenerative braking and maximum torque at 0 rpm. But it was clear that I was still far better informed about the Volt than he was.

Visiting a Tesla Store was an entirely different experience–and the 2013 Tesla Model S I finally bought was delivered to my house by the company, one of many remarkable differences between Tesla’s approach to sales and service and those of conventional dealers.

Sadly, after a recent test drive in a 2014 BMW i3 at a nearby dealership, I’ve concluded that the sad state of affairs at regular dealers hasn’t changed a bit.

The salesman who showed me BMW’s first-ever electric car on sale had never driven it. Nor had he received any training specific to the i3.

No Help From Salesman For Electric-Car Buyer
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