Dealers today are facing a brand-new challenge: How to navigate the electric vehicle market.
In previous years, when the term electric vehicle or EV came to mind, those typical high-end brands such as Tesla or Fisker were likely the only names one would think of. Now, as we witness an increase in the demand for EVs, we are starting to see some of the most common mainstream manufacturers roll out their own EV models. Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and many more have stepped into the ring.
With this new sector of the auto industry comes a fair share of opposing opinions from experts and consumers. The listed benefits of electric vehicles include things such as being environmentally friendly, saving money on fuel and lower maintenance costs. However, according to Jack Ewing, The New York Times automotive correspondent, battery-powered vehicles are still too expensive for many Americans.
Ewing states, “High prices are caused by shortages of batteries, of raw materials like lithium and of components like semiconductors. Strong demand for electric vehicles from affluent buyers means that carmakers have little incentive to sell cheaper models.”
Another issue is accessibility to charging stations. When it comes to lower-income households that may not have a garage or be able to afford an at-home charging station, the question of whether there are enough public facilities for charging also comes into play.
Other areas of concern about electric vehicles, in general, have included things such as extremely high battery replacement costs, spiked home electricity bills and whether the power grid will be able to support the charging of so many electric cars.
Ewing explains, “Only a few years ago analysts were predicting that electric vehicles would soon be as cheap to buy as gasoline cars. Given the savings on fuel and maintenance, going electric would be a no-brainer.”
With some being supporters and some being opponents, one thing is for sure, whether we like it or not, EVs are starting to claim a prominent spot in the auto industry. Dealers must prepare now for what they need to do to support this new type of vehicle sale and this new type of customer base.
Just like any other car, an electric car can and eventually will require service and repairs. Just because your customer decides to purchase an electric vehicle doesn’t mean they need to be left without extended warranty and protection options.
With today’s soaring prices, customers are now spending more on their vehicles, especially when it comes to EVs, which means they will want to protect their purchases with extended coverage.
Dealers now have the opportunity to not only sell electric vehicles but to also sell electric vehicle service contracts to go along with them. A service contract catered specifically to the unique needs of EVs could include coverage for repairs associated with breakdowns, the replacement of covered components and more. With optional protection for EV drive battery and commercial use, as well as additional benefits of home charging station repair coverage and towing assistance, an EV protection plan is a perfect addition that is sure to seal the deal on the sale of an electric vehicle.