Henry Ford infamously quipped customers could have his Model T in any colour as long as it was black.Now it seems they can have Ford's Model E in any colour they like as long as they agree to drive one off the lot. So far, they aren’t biting.That’s why only half of Ford’s US dealers are opting to continue selling electric vehicles in favour of traditional internal combustion and gas-hybrids in 2024, down from about two-thirds in 2023.It comes amid flagging EV sales as unsold units pile up on lots and uneven demand as traditional automakers struggle to meet tough sales requirements by 2035. .“EV adoption rates vary across the country and we believe our dealers know their market best,”.Consequently, just 1,550 of the company’s 3,000 dealerships will be certified to sell and service fully-electric EVs and plug-in hybrids even as the company plans to dramatically ramp up production.In a classic piece of understatement, the company said ‘the customer is always right.’“EV adoption rates vary across the country and we believe our dealers know their market best,” Ford spokesman Martin Günsberg told the Detroit Free Press. Under Ford’s Model E Program, dealers and technicians are required to be certified in maintenance and repairs at their own expense and install high-level fast chargers that can cost $500,000 or more each — or be denied access to demo models and special wholesale pricing.Those requirements have led to lawsuits, including a ruling in favour of an Illinois dealership claiming Ford’s requirements were a violation of state laws. When it was announced, Ford said nearly 2,000 dealers had signed up to be certified but many are now thinking twice about the cost benefits as demand for the super-premium and expensive cars wanes.Even Ford itself is having second thoughts after cutting production of the F-150 Lightning by half and postpone some USD$12 billion in EV-related manufacturing plants..Other manufacturers, including General Motors, have faced similar resistance from their own dealer networks. About half of Buick dealers — 1,000 in total — opted for buyouts and handed back the keys to their franchises instead of installing the required EV infrastructure to become all-electric by 2035.Unlike GM, Ford isn’t buying back dealerships for those who opt out of the program. And despite the lower uptake, the company says 86% of the American population are still within 20 miles of a certified EV dealer.Although precise figures aren’t available for Canada’s 476 Ford dealers, the company claims about 83% have signed onto one of two tiers despite similar concerns from its Roundtable Association. It’s also made concessions in the form of a ‘Small Volume Exception’ where smaller market dealers can defer installation of the more expensive charging units until demand grows. That’s despite the fact that Canada last week mandated 100% of all new vehicles be zero emission by 2035.