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Best Buy May Start Selling Electric Cars

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On: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 2:00PM | By: Chris Weiss


Best Buy May Start Selling Electric Cars

With advent of electric vehicles, the electronic and automotive industries have moved closer than ever. Electric vehicles are now just large, battery-powered electronics. Best Buy has slowly been wedging its way into the electric vehicle market, providing an alternative to automotive dealerships. Presently, Best Buy's automotive presence is limited to electric bikes by manufacturers like Brammo and charging station installation for hardware from Ford and Mitsubishi. But the electronics giant is considering getting into actual electric car sales.

Imagine taking your typical Saturday afternoon trip to Best Buy for a connector or widget and walking out with some knowledge on an electric vehicle from a smaller manufacturer. Better yet, maybe you drive off in a brand-new Tesla Roadster (or whatever EV Best Buy actually ends up selling).

In addition to allowing EV buyers to avoid more traditional car dealerships, the move would leverage Best Buy's network of more than 1,000 retail locations toward selling EVs. That would be a massive plus to electric vehicle manufacturers, which are often boutique operations without the retail network of large, established auto companies like GM and Honda. It would also be beneficial to buyers of such cars in providing convenient places to shop for vehicles without limiting them to retail outlets in a handful of progressive cities.

Chad Bell, a director of Best Buy's mobility and tech efforts, told Auto News: "We are having conversations with some of the startups. I would say the conversations are going well. We are very excited about several partnerships that we can't talk about yet."

While Best Buy's involvement in electric-car sales would be invaluable to small manufacturers, the electronics giant also thinks that it can take some of the technological burden off of larger automakers' backs. It is talking to some larger manufacturers on how it can help to install and inform. The chain sees itself as a logical extension of the growing amount of technology in vehicles, believing it could serve to teach consumers about electric vehicles and other in-vehicle technologies.

For a long time, consumers had the option of going to electronic and audio shops to have stereos and navigation systems installed, so why not newer technologies? It'll be interesting to see how Best Buy is able to further integrate itself into the auto market.




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