The environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) have always been clear, but low availability and high costs have made them an outlier in the auto market. However, that’s about to change — and quickly.
This year alone, 30 new EV models have been released by 21 different automakers. Despite this clear acceleration toward a battery-powered future, many customers are unfamiliar with EVs. That means you have a huge opportunity to educate customers as the industry becomes more and more geared toward electric vehicles.
Be ready to go
Because many still view EVs as a novelty, some dealerships have yet to feature them on showroom floors or offer test drives in them. But, with carmaker after carmaker (with few exceptions) pledging to go completely electric within the next decade or so, it’s time to start putting these vehicles in front of customers — and providing a hands-on experience can significantly impact their EV comfort levels.
Lead the charge
One primary area of concern for prospective EV owners is how they’re going to charge their new vehicle. While charging stations are far more widely available than they were even a few years ago, there’s still a long way to go until EV infrastructure catches up with gas stations. Home charging is an option for some, of course, but voltage restrictions or those who live in apartments or communities where EV charging is not yet available will need to find a local charging station.
These charging fears (also known as range anxiety) are a real barrier for many car owners. You’ll need to be prepared with the battery facts they need, have recommendations for charging solutions ready to go and (most important) talk to them about their driving habits. Ask them what a normal week or month looks like and what kind of distances they’re covering. Odds are, the ranges offered by most EVs on the market (roughly 100 to 400+ miles per charge) will cover their needs. And, just like the volume of charging stations available, range numbers are also improving all the time.
Because EVs are a new frontier for most car shoppers, they’re going to have lots of questions. How often will I need to charge it? How long does it take to charge? Which EVs can go the farthest? Do I get a tax credit?
Your team needs to have the answers. That should include the specifics of the vehicles, charging and tax implications of the technology. Because EVs are a new, cleaner option, many governments (federal and local) are providing tax credits to encourage adoption. Things are changing and growing quickly in this space, so you may not always have all the answers, but you should be able to know where to point customers for more information, if necessary.
Pro tip: Have brochures and other resource materials with common EV questions ready to hand out to interested shoppers. This will allow them to take the time they need to weigh their options and make an informed decision.
Know your numbers
As technology has improved and more models have become available, the cost of EVs has dropped significantly. But, many car shoppers still see them as a luxury choice. Inform buyers on the affordability of EVs with respect to their individual budgets – presenting them as both good buying and leasing options. With Ally Auto, dealerships can help customers find the right car and financing options to make their EV dreams a reality.
EVs may not be the right choice for every driver, at least not yet. Whether another vehicle is a better fit for their driving habits or there isn’t an option available in their budget, all car owners may not be ready for the jump to electric. Help them assess whether an EV will fit their vehicle needs by asking them about their usual routines and what charging options they have. Make sure they understand the requirements of owning an EV. They’ll not only need access to charging, but the right kind of charging, both to ensure that they can fuel up and maintain their vehicle’s battery. It’s most definitely the new shiny object on the lot, so there will be a lot of interest, but finding the right car for each shopper still needs to be the priority.
Get ahead of the curve
EVs are revving their (extremely quiet) engines and hitting the road in a big way. Education and availability will be essential tools as the internal combustion engine makes way for electric vehicles.
Ally Auto Dealer Services has the solutions you need to provide customers with the financing they need.