The car sales process has changed a lot in the last 15 to 20 years. Cars themselves have changed quite a bit in the same time period. With the introduction of new electric vehicles to many dealerships, has the information electric car buyers want to know – or want from the sales process, changed? We’ll take a look at recent studies and surveys to help you better understand how to make an electric vehicle shoppers’ experience a good one.
What do electric car buyers want to know?
As you might suspect, the vehicle’s electric operating range is among the chief concerns for electric car buyers. Most American drivers have been in a routine since they are old enough to remember, that gas stations are frequently located off the exits of most highways big or small. Filling up takes just a few minutes unless you have a big truck, a boat, or both at the same time.
So especially for people who commute every day, knowing the range of the vehicle is very important. Also important is how weather impacts the vehicle’s electric power range. Since colder and hotter weather does impact the range, they want to know how much range is taken off when they want to use the heater.
For such a big purchase, this is really important – due in part to the lost equity of finding a vehicle that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Knowledge of charging ranges – and honesty in charging ranges, is something salespeople should be equipped with.
If I were to buy an electric vehicle today, I would want one that exceeds the ability to drive to the nearest metro area and back on one charge. Why? What if I have to commute some day? I don’t want to have to trade my vehicle in just because I moved or started a different job.
While not the biggest challenge for most electric vehicle buyers to overcome, having cargo space is generally helpful. Should you take on a new hobby or kids’ activities and decide you want more space, having the room to throw a sports bag or two in the area would be rather helpful.
The challenge with cargo space is thinking about all the things you could carry. Consider a roof rack, too.
How to charge
Admittedly, the concept of plugging your vehicle is one that won’t change and won’t be a challenge for even the most technically challenged customers. Understanding where to charge and different levels of chagrin are rather important, though.
Salespeople will want to be informed on what charging options are available in-home or in-garage for customers. They should also be able to explain to a customer how to charge their vehicle at an apartment. Knowing how long a charge will take will also be very helpful – and whether or not the customer can control the charge time!
Some of the rebates available for an electric car don’t actually come from the dealership, but as tax credits when you complete your yearly report to Uncle Sam. Note that in most cases, salespeople aren’t expected to have extensive knowledge of individual tax situations, but should know which vehicles qualify for a tax credit, how much, and how long those credits last.
This is a bit different from the discounts people (used to?) received on cars, trucks, and SUVs in that they aren’t automatically subtracted in the dealership or within the finance office.
Electric vehicles represent a change, and often a positive one, to most electric vehicle buyers. By showcasing your EV knowledge, you can help electric car buyers have a more pleasant and effective experience on your sales floor.