Ford sent this F-150 Lightning fully-electric pickup truck to Roberts Motors in Alton for demonstration purposes, but it won't be for sale until next year.

ALTON - While gas prices are starting to come down, they remain nearly a dollar higher than they were at this time last year - but even as more customers ask about switching to electric cars, dealerships like Roberts Motors in Alton simply aren’t being given the supply to meet their growing interest.

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John Roberts, general manager of Roberts Motors in Alton, said there has been more interest from customers in electric vehicles lately, but he currently doesn’t have any electric vehicles for sale on his lot.

“Right now, supply is hard to get for every car dealer as it is and EV vehicles haven’t been readily available from a Ford perspective,” Roberts said. “I think the awareness has increased, I think we have more people asking about them, but part of the issue is that we don’t have them on the lot.”

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Roberts added that the only electric vehicles that have been sold at the dealership were custom-ordered by individual customers. The only electric vehicle he currently has on-site is a Ford F-150 Lightning truck that Ford sent them 30 days ago for demonstration purposes, but it won’t be for sale until January 2023.

“We are required to keep it for six months,” Roberts said. “It’s what they call a ‘mannequin vehicle,’ it’s … for people to drive it, check it out in person, especially the people who have reserved one or are thinking about reserving one, it’s a chance to see it in person.”

Illinois has not adopted the Zero-Emission Vehicles program, which Roberts thinks may contribute to the lack of EVs being sent to this area. 12 other states have adopted this program, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

“The zero-emission states, they seem to get the lion’s share of the EV vehicles to meet their emissions requirements. Being in the Midwest, we don’t see as high availability for them as some states do,” Roberts said. “I think it’s a combination of those two factors: not enough production of them, and more of the production going to those other states.”

For more information about the Ford F-150 Lightning demonstration truck or about Roberts Motors, call (855) 999-5497.

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