How Can Car Dealers Ensure a Smooth Transition to Electric Vehicles?

Car dealers aren’t instantly equipped to handle a change from traditional cars to electric vehicles.  Even though EVs fulfill transportation requirements, these new electric models offer different technology, refueling, and sales techniques.  These are just a few of the transitions dealers must make to assist consumers toward the future world of electric cars.

You should find electric vehicles alongside traditional models at many car dealer locations

White Electric Vehicle Plugged Into a Charger
Electric Vehicle Plugged Into a Charger | Shutterstock

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CleanTechnica tells us that one of the best ways to make consumers comfortable with EVs is to market them with traditional vehicles.  This lets consumers immediately see the differences and similarities between these two extremely different types of vehicles.

What are some of the challenges associated with the transition to electric vehicles?

In various forms, we’re already seeing some of the challenges of this transition rear their ugly heads.  Many of the obstacles to widespread EV adoption are:

  • Inadequate charging infrastructure
  • Risk of grid overload
  • High-carbon grid profile
  • Finite critical materials and rare earth metals
  • Smart and flexible charging options
  • Smart energy management for effective EV load management
  • Battery monitoring, analytics, and recycling

We’ve already seen some of this at work.  Shortly after the California Air Resource Board (CARB) announced new regulations that begin in 2026, the state requested EV drivers charge their cars less.  This request for fewer charging events was an effort to avoid electrical grid overload.

Are car dealers educating their staff regarding electric vehicles?

A blue Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is driving.
The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

When dealerships educate their sales staff about new products, they offer their team a much better chance of selling those vehicles.  Many salespeople are much better at selling products they’re familiar with than items they don’t know well.

What can be done to encourage the use of electric cars?

The federal government has already taken the lead in this forum with new EV incentives.  States can follow suit by offering incentives for purchasing electric cars and installing in-home charging stations.  The at-home chargers can relieve some of the stress of the current lack of public chargers.  Of course, states should also continue to increase the number of public charging stations to accommodate more EVs.

How can car dealers get customers comfortable with electric vehicles?

Buying an electric vehicle like this Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck requires charging
The Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck | Ford

One of the best ways to ensure customers will consider one of the new electric cars is to have them charged up and ready for test drives.  Many shoppers show interest in EVs when they visit dealers, even if it’s to take a test drive and learn they aren’t quite ready for this new technology.  If the EVs are charged and ready to go, shoppers have a chance to experience them firsthand.

What are some of the biggest challenges for the transition to electric vehicles?

Some of the barriers to scaling up to the future of an EV market include:

  • Driving range improvements
  • Charging times
  • Availability of charging stations
  • Stress on the electric grid

These barriers go hand-in-hand with the challenges associated with moving away from gas and diesel-powered vehicles toward electric vehicles.

Car dealers must be transparent in their EV sales technique

A white EV charging outdoors.
EV charging | Getty Images

The driving range is an oft-mired challenge of electric vehicles, but it should only be one part of the sales pitch.  The sales team should offer consumers the pros and cons of electric vehicles to educate shoppers to make the best decision for their driving needs.  This means covering:

Pros

  • Charging is more affordable than filling with gas
  • Electricity is renewable
  • Driving EVs reduces the environmental impact
  • Tax credits are available

Cons

  • EVs can be expensive
  • Charging takes time
  • Driving range
  • Lack of public charging stations

Are car dealers becoming the center of the electric vehicle community?

A yellow (L) and green (R) Rivian R1T electric pickup truck.
Two Rivian R1T electric pickup trucks are parked.

One of the most impactful ways dealers can help their community become comfortable with electric cars is to be the center of the EV community.  This means becoming the place drivers go when they want information.  Host EV-themed events and invite shoppers to learn more about these new cars to increase their comfort level with this new technology.

Next, check out some benefits of the new climate bill, or watch this EV video below:

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