Where is We Called 8 Dealerships Asking About EVs

The increasing number of electric models that fill manufacturers’ showrooms have required dealer employees to become experts in new technology – and faster. Some automakers have been in the game for a while, like Tesla and Nissan, of course. Others recently began offering their own fully electric models. You may be surprised how adaptable they are to change.

Accelerating EVs is not an easy task for thousands of brand representatives. Imagine you are doing the same thing, explaining things in the same way for the rest of your career. Then, many of the basic characteristics of vehicles you have spent years and years have changed over a few years. How will you prepare? More important, how do you ensure an entire staff together, and provide consistent, accurate information?

We wanted to find out how the dealers are overcome with this challenge and what is their language around electric cars, so we decided to do a little experiment. I called eight dealerships at various locations across the country, posing as potential purchasers interested in EVs but essentially clueless. The questions I asked in each phone call were more or less the same, but slight variations depending on the model. These are “like incentives,” “as I run out of juice” and “Do I have to bring it to serve like a normal car?”

What I found was really quite encouraging. I was worried that some dealers may be unsure of how to explain or sell electric cars, rather than backing traditional vehicles from pushing them. My biggest fear was that some would present falsehoods to questions that they could not answer.

Thankfully, neither of them happened. The salespersons I spoke to were generally positive and factual on EVS, no brand or location. Many described him as “neat” or used the appropriate synonym. And, as you expect, he encouraged me to pay him a visit to see for myself.

However, a slightly more granular question – concerning range concerns, maintenance, warranties and the benefits of gas-powered models vs. electric cars – tended to be unanswered or under-explained. In cases where salespeople have no answer for me, they either promised to call back later with information or kept their responses short and general. This highlighted that there is still training to be done, however, this is not entirely surprising.

“They’re no different [from gas cars] actually,” said a salesman at a suburban Pennsylvania Chevrolet dealer when I asked him if he drove a bolt and inquired if it compared to conventional cars How is it “It’s just cool.” And you will get more energy. ”

It seemed that I had turned to the dealership the most. Electric cars were talked about as more novelties – neat, although with few exceptions, most dealership employees did not take the time to explain why they spoke for practical benefits or even money on fuel. Like saving.

“I’ve inspired a few of them. I think they’re really cool,” said a salesman at a Hyundai dealership in a small town in Oregon when I asked him about Kona Electric. ” One of the unique cars and it suits your living situation. ”

One of the people I told at a Nissan dealership in rural Tennessee said, “Some people really enjoy Leaf Drive, some people don’t really enjoy.” He summed up the EV’s unique driving experience reasonably well, and made a point to talk about the potential savings in choosing one:

“Basically the only real difference you’re going to notice with a Leaf from a conventional vehicle is that it actually moves comparatively much faster, because it doesn’t have the power to build up. All the power as soon as it hits the gas pedal. Easily available. With it, it is also very quiet as a ride. Right now, with current energy prices the way they are, filling a leaf with a cat of a lot less than a tank of gas The cost is going up. ”

On the other hand, he severely misjudged the car’s range by saying, “They are running about 400 miles on one charge.” Nissan’s figure for the latest Leaf Plus – the longest-range version of the car the company offers – is 226 miles.

Most of the sailors I encountered had their first experience with EVs in their showrooms, though not all did. A saleswoman at a Nissan dealership outside Philadelphia had not driven a leaf before – she encouraged me to test only one drive and then compared it against a Sentra or Kicks.

Each dealer’s online inventory presented the cars with their MSRP, followed by a list of deductions. On some models, like the Bolt, the waiver is extremely steep. However, they never include federal tax credits, for like $ 7,500 the IRS allows you to claim to buy a fully electric vehicle (although not all EVs are still eligible).

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