Canadian AutoJournal June 2019
The June 2019 issue of Canadian AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of Canadian AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
I recently had the opportunity to interview the president of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit organization that promotes EVs to consumers. One of the interesting takeaways from that conversation was the fact that education is a big part of getting consumers to embrace pure EVs as well as plug-in hybrids.
The bottom line, according to the president, is that consumers don’t know all that much about how these vehicles work. They don’t appreciate the advantages, they don’t understand the technology, and they don’t see how an electric vehicle could or would fit their lifestyle. The solution, according to Plug’n Drive, is education, and that’s exactly what they’re all about.
Now, what I’m telling you is nothing new. But if you’re offering EVs in your store, then you really need to understand where your customers are coming from. They may not fully understand what owning an EV is all about, so it’s your job to make sure they’re properly educated before they make a buying decision.
True, you could sell them an EV without thinking twice about whether it’s really the right vehicle for them, but if it ends up that it’s not, they won’t tell their family and Facebook friends that THEY made a mistake. Instead, it’s going to be YOUR fault. And in today’s connected world, the last thing you want is to look like the bad guy for pushing an innocent consumer into a vehicle that wasn’t right for them. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant, because that’s what they’re going to tell the world.
It’s important for your customers to really understand what owning and driving an EV is all about. From infrastructure issues to charging times to cold weather performance and beyond, EV ownership is all about those pesky details that matter on a day-to-day basis.
That’s why Plug’n Drive recommends a half-hour seminar to anyone interested in an EV. They cover all the bases, making sure potential buyers know what they’re signing up for.
That leads us to an interesting question: If they’re spending half an hour covering all the ins and outs of EV ownership with consumers, how much time is your team devoting to education? Is it a quick two-minute explanation and then on to the sales pitch, or are you taking the time to really make sure your customers know what they’re getting into?
Don’t get me wrong—I know you don’t want to talk them out of a sale. But would you rather make a sale and then regret it once they tell everyone about the mistake they made, or would you rather lay all the cards on the table, tell them what they need to know, and if an EV is not right for them, introduce them to something else on your lot? The choice is yours.