At the October networking event, we focused on dealership engagement and revolutionizing the electric car buying process. Our guest speaker Hieu Le, campaign representative at Sierra Club, spoke on the RevUp Electric Vehicles 2.0 campaign, while Forth’s Program Manager, Connor Herman gave a brief overview of the Forth Dealership Engagement Program.
The Rev Up EV campaign is a multi-state study of the electric vehicle shopping experience. In 2016, the Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative organized 174 volunteers to visit or call auto dealerships in all 10 Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) states. These volunteers selected and contacted 308 different dealerships representing 13 automakers and recorded their experience via a brief online survey.
Here are some key findings from the campaign:
- Volunteers were 2 1/2 times more likely to find no electric cars on a dealership lot in the nine other ZEV states than they were in California
- Respondents who asked to test drive an electric car were told at 14% of the dealerships that the car was not sufficiently charged, including at 22% of the Chevy dealerships and 21% of the Ford dealerships visited.
- Of the visits to dealerships with at least one electric car on the lot, volunteers found that 42% of the time EVs were either “not prominently displayed” or were only “somewhat prominently displayed.”
In June of 2018, Plug In America and Sierra Club released the AchiEVe: Model State & Local Policies to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption toolkit. The toolkit highlights policies like rebates, tax credits, and policies that permit access to the HOV lanes. The toolkit was designed around policies the country that electric vehicle advocates or policymakers can enact, without reinventing the wheel.
So how has the electric car shopping process changed?
In 2019, Sierra Club sent out volunteers from May - July to examine how automakers and dealerships were selling EVs in all 50 states. Sierra Club also called over 200 dealerships around the nation to get more information on readiness to sell EVs. The results from the RevUp EVs 2.0 campaign will be published to the public by November 2019
Recently, Forth developed an Auto Dealer Engagement Program designed to provide training and certification to local auto dealers as well as marketing assistance and strategies for increasing traffic to dealerships, improving the EV buyer experience, and incentivizing and training the EV car sales force for success.
You can view Forth’s presentation here: