Plug In America launches nationwide web-based dealership training on selling electric cars
02.19.2020 - by Noah Barnes
Plug In America launches nationwide web-based dealership training on selling electric cars

Plug In America announced the immediate nationwide availability of web-based sales training for auto dealers that sell EVs. The PlugStar training course equips dealer sales staff to serve the distinct needs of buyers considering the switch to cars powered by electricity. Concerns over range, affordability and charging are just a few of the barriers potential EV buyers contend with. The dealer EV training course was made possible through a partnership with James Madison University and Virginia Clean Cities.

The move comes in response to a recent Cox Automotive report in which three out of four EV buyers noted the dealer or salesperson strongly influences their purchase decision. The same report found that two-thirds of dealers receive some to no support for marketing and selling EVs from the manufacturer.

Plug In America issued the announcement on Sunday at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas. Leaders in the automotive retail sector convene at NADA’s annual convention to learn the latest tools, tactics, technologies and industry trends to support their retail efforts.

Since 2016, Plug In America’s PlugStar Dealer Training Program has successfully trained over 100 dealerships and 1,000 dealer sales and manufacturer sales support staff from 13 automakers in selected U.S. cities. With this step, the training will now be available nationwide to any interested dealers or sales staff. Sales staff that participated in Plug In America’s pilot programs in California sold four times as many EVs as their untrained counterparts. Moreover, surveyed customers at participating dealerships indicated sharply higher satisfaction with the sales experience. (70% indicated that they were “very satisfied” with the sales experience, compared to 35% at non-participating dealerships.)

“Our work has shown that salespeople who are more confident talking about EVs with their customers end up selling a lot more EVs,” said Plug In America Executive Director Joel Levin. “I can think of no better way to accelerate this movement than by making our proven PlugStar training widely available to dealers across the country. Many new EV models will be available in the coming months and dealers need to be ready to sell these cars.”

“We applaud Plug In America’s efforts to help both dealers and customers tackle the intricacies involved with the sale and ownership of EVs,” said NADA President and CEO Peter Welch. “As plug-in options increase in availability, this new training product will greatly assist dealers and their staffs with addressing many of the key concerns raised by customers considering an EV purchase.”

President Jim Appleton of NJ CAR, New Jersey’s state dealer association, shared his thoughts on the challenge and how PlugStar addresses the EV market: “A major obstacle to EV adoption is education. That is why NJ CAR partnered with Plug In America to offer PlugStar training to our member dealers and we think dealers across the country could benefit from the valuable, EV specific training they offer.”

Plug In America will promote dealerships that employ trained EV specialists on PlugStar.com and partner car shopping sites where EV buyers go to start their car-buying experience.

Visit PlugInAmerica.org/EVtraining to learn more.

3 comments on “Plug In America launches nationwide web-based dealership training on selling electric cars”
  1. Tom Cowley says:

    Yes, we all know that most auto salesmen have little or no knowledge of ev’s, training is essential.
    Tom Cowley , President of Oregon Electric Vehicle association University ( OEVAU )

  2. Phil Harris says:

    I work for a safety training and consulting business. We would be interested in delivering this information to local dealerships in our area using your training material. Is this possible and how could we become part the EV education process?

  3. Paul Scott says:

    Kudos to Plug In America for addressing one of the biggest hurdles to EV adoption! Since 2011, when the Leaf and Volt first began selling, dealers throughout the nation were reluctant-to-antagonistic toward EVs. The resultant lack of effort to sell these cars has greatly slowed adoption.

    Getting a four-fold increase in sales is huge! Early adopters (everyone up to 10% penetration) gain lots of converts by talking the cars up to their friends, co-workers, and family. Any leverage at this stage of the EV transition is powerful.

    James Madison University and Virginia Clean Cities are to be applauded for funding this excellent program. How can we expand its use?

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