The EV market is upon us and its important that dealerships adjust to this change. Electric cars drive differently but the same as gas vehicles.
The push is on and we’re going to see more electric vehicles on the road than ever before. Most automakers already plan to have 50% EV sales by 2030, which means a big shift for their dealership networks. Let’s take a look at several ways changes are happening at dealerships to make it more comfortable and easier for electric vehicles to be sold in their location.
EVs are Being Sold Alongside ICE Models
Instead of separating the two types of vehicles, many dealers are putting them together. This helps to push EVs forward and put the thought into customers’ minds they might want to take an EV for a test drive. In fact, with electric models so close, its much more likely that shoppers will ask to take a test drive in an electric car than if they were in another part of the lot. Rather than only market to shoppers looking for EVs, this helps dealers market to all customers.
Sales Teams are Being Educated
Electric vehicles offer something different from what customers are used to. Many dealerships have invested in education programs to get their staff used to the EV market. if a salesperson is comfortable talking about an electric vehicle, they might be able to identify the shoppers that would fit an EV the best. This can be a huge benefit to customers as they visit dealerships. No one wants to buy a car from a person that doesn’t understand what it offers; education can be the key.
Showcase What EVs Have to Offer
Imagine driving to a Ford dealership and seeing an F-150 Lightning with the hood up and the frunk full of tools and gear. This would be a great way to showcase what this electric truck offers. EVs do bring some benefits that we don’t find in gas-powered vehicles, and its important for dealers to find ways to highlight these things. By using the car, truck, or SUV in a way that shows how a shopper might benefit, more of these EVs can be sold.
EVs are Charged and Ready to Go
Many dealerships embrace the EV market with charging stations, but some of these stations are for use by the dealership team. This allows the team to charge up the cars and have them ready to go for test drives with customers at the wheel. If you went to a dealership and the sales team told you that you couldn’t take a ride in an EV because it was charging you might be turned off. Instead, many dealers have these models ready to ride.
The Sales Spiel Talks About More than Driving Range
Its not a secret that driving range and charging times are a bit of a sore spot with electric vehicles. Even though these things must be covered, the education and training that sales teams receive allow them to add more to their sales spiel. Salespeople can talk about the benefits, the flat floor, the quiet ride, added cargo room, and the fact that these models can be charged at home. In fact, most automakers now offer free charging installations at home, and that’s a big benefit for shoppers.
Describe the EV Driving Experience, from Actual Experience
To ensure sales teams are ready to talk about EVs, many dealerships could allow their team to embrace the EV market by taking these cars home for a few days at a time. They can describe what its like to live with an EV because they have done it. This takes time for the entire team, but the benefits of personal experience can easily come through when the sales staff understands what they are selling.
Dealers Teach Customers About Charging Options
Unlike their gas and diesel-powered counterparts, EVs offer several ways to charge them. Most new electric vehicles take too long to charge on a regular home outlet, which means that is out. Both Level 2, 240-volt charging and DC Fast Charging are excellent options. Dealers are now sharing this information with customers along with the location of several of the public chargers that are located in the local area. This gives shoppers a bit more comfort with these electric-powered vehicles.
Discuss Home Charging Options, Including Solar Panels
Solar panels are falling in cost and that means adding a few solar panels to the roof could become a dedicated way to charge an EV at home. This is a way that dealerships are not only embracing the EV market but also talking about solar power, which is a sustainable electric option. This puts the conversation of coal-fueled electric plants to bed and allows shoppers to think a little more creatively about the charging options they have for an EV.
Dealerships are Becoming the Foundation of the Local Electric Vehicle Community
Many dealerships are finding their way into the EV market as the destination for the EV community. Although these cars are new to the auto market, there’s already a strong following of potential customers who could learn from other owners. By being the location where EV drivers want to be, dealerships offer a community feeling that can often translate into sales of more models for them and a place for owners to visit and spend time together.
The Changes Continue to Arrive
Many dealers are doing everything they can to embrace the change to electric vehicles, but they also know that more changes are coming in this market. Dealers must be ready for these changes and adapt as they arrive. Some have partnered with organizations like Electrify America to talk more about the EV lifestyle and the expectations these new customers have when they arrive at the dealer location. We’ll see more changes going forward and learn even more about how dealers are embracing the changes that are inevitable.
Are your local dealerships embracing the EV market? What are they doing to prepare for the onslaught of electric vehicles?
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