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Is Your Dealership Ready for the EV Wave?

The world of tomorrow is here today. With electric cars on our minds, we should take note that EV’s have been around for quite some time now and their popularity isn’t just growing by leaps-and -bounds either; it’s exponential! Electric motors produce no pollution, so they lighten our exhaust footprint, while also reducing fuel costs at home or work (in some cases). There is also an increasing confidence in EVs. 

… consumer confidence in EVs is rising fast and within that overall demand boom EVs are set to be the stars of the show. For the first time, over half of consumers — 52% — who intend to buy a car in the next 24 months say they will choose an EV or hybrid vehicle. That’s up 11% from 2021 and 22% from 2020.

Why consumers are charging toward electric vehicles | EY – US, Miller, Cardell, Batra, EY

Preparing for the EV wave is easier than you think. Here are a few ways that will help make it happen in your dealership. It all comes down to the training and the tools. 

Educate Your Sales Staff

The increased technical requirements for selling electric vehicles may seem intimidating, but through training, your sales staff you can make it easier to talk about these cars with potential customers. Fundamental knowledge of vehicle lifespan, battery specs, and charging options for each EV on the lot is necessary along with learning exactly how battery-electric cars perform.  

Not all EVs are the same, just like all SUVs are not the same. The EV market is evolving at a rapid pace. EVs can vary significantly in size, range and performance – depending on what you want from your electric car. The buyer should be able to find the perfect EV for them by knowing what makes each one different, informed by the sales staff. It’s also important to make sure all charging questions are answered. A hands-on demonstration is recommended. It would also be helpful to have knowledge on in-home charging devices and know the apps that locate charging stations available to the public.  Google Maps, Plugshare and ChargeHub are three great apps that can help consumers find chargers in their area. There’s also plenty of other options available on the App Store or Google Play store!

Train Your Service Technicians

Hiring an EV mechanic or training your current mechanics to work on EVs is not just about the know-how. It’s also crucial for dealerships that they be properly stocked with all the necessary equipment, so these technicians can do a great job servicing both traditional and electric cars alike!

According to EINTAC (Expert in safe-working on electric vehicles), mechanics repairing electric vehicles will need to know the following basics: 

  • The hazards involved in maintaining these car types as well their risks. 
  • Understanding how to use all the equipment safely
  • Understanding the risks and how to avoid electric shock
  • De-powering EVs and replacing batteries safely
  • Identify components involved with HEV cables & batteries as well as auxiliary batteries.
  • How to check the voltage on the auxiliary battery.
  • How different types of EVs are distinguished, including BEVs (engines that run on battery power only), HEVs(powered by both gas and batteries)and PHEVS(with plug-in capabilities). 

EV mechanics will need a digital multimeter, lab scope, rubber insulating gloves – along with insulated tools to protect against injury if they make contact with an energized source. Every insulated tool must be marked with an official 1,000-volt rating symbol and the year it was insulated. These markings indicate that the tool will protect you for live use up to 1,000 VAC or 1,500 VDC.

Install Charging Stations

If you have yet to install a charging station at your dealership, it would be beneficial to start planning and budgeting for one. On average it will be around $2000 – $10,000 per station depending on charger type and extent of electrical work required, however, there are tax credits, rebates and incentives available that may help reduce the over costs.  There are many things to consider when looking for an EV charging company, but it is important that you find one with the right expertise. The first step in this process should be researching which providers offer installations as well as other services like cashback on electricity bills or fast charge times at their stations.

With all of these new EV’s coming out, it is a great time to be ready with the right tools and training. With everything changing so quickly in this industry there will always need for innovation- don’t get left behind!

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