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GM gives Buick dealers ultimatum on electric cars

General Motors is ditching gas-powered cars in its Buick line and forcing dealers to go all-electric.

The carmaker says dealerships that refuse to comply will not be part of the brand and they’re offering a buyout option.

The controversial move by Buick comes as California has asked all-electric vehicle owners to stop charging their cars during the current electricity emergency gripping the state.

GM, which has closed all of its California auto assembly plants, entered into an agreement this year to allow the Democrat-run state to set the auto emissions for the manufacturer. Now, General Motors says Buick will transition to sell electric vehicles exclusively by 2030, forcing dealers to upgrade stores and invest in charging stations, along with other changes.

“Not everyone necessarily wants to make that journey, depending on where they’re located or the level of expenditure that the transition will demand,” Buick Global Vice President Duncan Aldred told the Wall Street Journal. “So if they want to exit the Buick franchise, then we will give them monetary assistance to do so.”

U.S. Buick dealerships will be given buyout offers from General Motors to those who do not wish to shift to selling only electric vehicles.Aldred would not say how many of its nearly 2,000 U.S. dealers are expected to take the buyout. However, he said the dealers that do choose the buyout may still sell other GM models.

GM reportedly completed a similar phaseout of Cadillac dealerships last year to around 575 franchises.

Dealerships that already made facility improvements to accommodate an all-electric fleet better have said they spent more than $300,000 in investment costs.

–Wire services