WANADA Chairman Kevin Reilly Writes Op-Ed in Support of Va. EV Legislation

WANADA Chairman Kevin Reilly, who owns Alexandria Hyundai and Genesis of Alexandria, joined Consumer Reports’ vice president of advocacy David Friedman to publish an op-ed in The Washington Post in support of legislation in Virginia that would expand consumer access to electric vehicles across the commonwealth.

As WANADA reported earlier this month, the Virginia Senate is set to consider multiple House-passed bills that would expand the inventory of zero-emission and low-emission electric vehicles that dealers receive, while implementing tax credits and incentives to spur their purchase. Currently, Maryland dealers receive more EV inventory than Virginia dealers, despite having roughly 2.5 million fewer residents.

To illustrate this point, in Reilly and Friedman’s op-ed, they recounted an experience that reflects the reality for many Virginia dealers – customers are interested in buying EVs, but often have to travel to Virginia to do so.

“David Friedman visited Kevin Reilly’s Hyundai dealership in Alexandria looking to test drive a new electric vehicle — a mainstream car already on the market,” the authors recounted in their op-ed. “Reilly was able to help Friedman find the vehicle he was looking for but had to connect him with an auto dealership in Maryland to make it happen. Though Friedman ultimately got the car he wanted, Reilly — and Virginia’s economy — missed out. And this trend will only worsen unless Virginia lawmakers take action.”

As Reilly and Friedman noted in their op-ed, roughly one-third of plug-in EVs registered in Virginia were purchased at a dealership outside the commonwealth. HB 1965, introduced by Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond), seeks to ameliorate this problem by requiring, as Maryland and 10 other states do, that automakers guarantee Virginia dealers with a minimum amount of EVs based on overall annual sales. Reilly and Friedman call this bill, which passed the House and will be considered by the Senate this week, to be a “win for car buyers, auto dealerships and Virginia’s economy.”

Del. Bagby’s bill, along with tax credits legislation outlined by HB 1979, and HB 2282, which would bring a wide range of stakeholders to the table to outline future transportation electrification matters, are set to be considered by the Senate in the coming week. WANADA joins our partners at VADA to express support for these bills, and the association also echoes Kevin Reilly’s call for increased collaboration from Congress and the White House on federal tax incentives and electric-charging infrastructure.

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