FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Derrick Vargas, Communication Associate
Plug In America
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 20, 2022)—Plug In America (PIA) and Kia America joined forces to train and provide electric vehicle (EV) support for nearly 100 Kia dealers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
PIA’s PlugStar program is designed to complement and add value to the existing EV training and support that dealers currently receive from Kia, which includes educating dealer sales staff about EV basics, EV charging at home and on the go, and EV incentives. PlugStar aims to help dealers become more confident in selling EVs, while also making it easier for consumers. Based on data gathered in PIA’s Sacramento PlugStar program, sales staff trained through the PlugStar program can sell up to four times more EVs than their untrained counterparts, and approximately one in four EV buyers attributed their EV purchase to PlugStar.com.
“The PlugStar program makes it easier for consumers to transition to electric vehicles by creating positive, informative sales experiences,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “This program with Kia is a great example of how our training and support go hand-in-hand with the training and support provided by Kia to ensure sales staff are equipped with the knowledge necessary to sell the next generation of vehicles.”
“The partnership between PlugStar could not have come at a better time with the announcement that Kia is expecting that 25% of all of their vehicle sales will come from alternative fuel vehicles by the end of 2025,” said James Hannah, retail marketing manager of Kia America, Inc. “We provided the training at no cost to the dealerships because we saw the importance of educating our sales consultants and managers on more than just the vehicles, but to also help them locate government EV incentives and discuss the differences in the chargers.”
This program with Kia will also benefit PlugStar’s current state-wide programs in New Jersey. Partners on these programs include the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ Car), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ Dep), and ChargEVC-NJ.
According to Jim Appleton, President of NJ CAR, “New Jersey’s PlugStar EV training is second to none. Kia stepping up to certify dozens of Garden State dealerships is proof of the value they see in this program. Franchised dealers currently offer 40+ vehicles with a plug and we think that number will grow to 140 models in just a few years. I hope other manufacturers embrace the value of the PlugStar training and certify their New Jersey franchisees.”
“As New Jersey charges toward an electric vehicle future, automobile dealership employees who receive EV-specific training can better inform car-buyers and build skills to compete in the green economy—all while helping to reduce harmful climate pollution,” said Shawn M. LaTourette, New Jersey’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection and Co-Chair of Governor Phil Murphy’s Council on the Green Economy. “Governor Murphy has prioritized getting more electric vehicles on New Jersey roads. The Murphy Administration is a proud contributor to Plug In America’s EV dealer training and commends Kia and Plug In America for their partnership in training and certifying New Jersey’s Kia dealerships. Their efforts to educate dealership staff and the car-buying public about the benefits of EV ownership will help to improve New Jersey’s air quality and the health of our neighbors while combating the harmful effects of climate change.”
“Our continuing investment in the PlugStar program is money well spent,” said Pamela Frank, CEO of ChargEVC. “PlugStar helps dealerships sell electric vehicles and ensures a great customer experience.”
This program with Kia will also benefit PlugStar’s current state-wide programs in Massachusetts. Partners on these programs include the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association.
“Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles in Massachusetts will play a significant role in helping the Commonwealth meet its 2050 net zero emissions goals,” said Jennifer Daloisio, MassCEC CEO. “MassCEC looks forward to continuing our work with Plug In America to ensure that dealerships across the Commonwealth are prepared and engaged in assisting consumers with the transition to electric vehicles.”
Plug In America offers some of the world’s deepest experience in EV sales training and understanding and improving the EV customer experience. Through PlugStar.com, PIA provides practical, objective information to help consumers select the best plug-in vehicle for their lifestyles and needs.
About Plug In America
Plug In America is the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the use of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience in driving and living with plug-in vehicles. We drive electric. You can too. PlugInAmerica.org
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia America continues to top automotive quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and offers a range of gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electrified vehicles sold through a network of over 750 dealers in the U.S., with several cars and SUVs proudly assembled in America.
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About the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers
New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR) is the trade association representing the 500 neighborhood new car dealerships in New Jersey. The industry accounts for $40.8 billion in vehicle, service and parts sales and directly employs more than 36,500 men and women in New Jersey, in good-paying, local jobs that can’t be outsourced.
About the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2020, the DEP makes New Jersey a stronger and fairer state by protecting our environment and public health. With hard work, exceptional knowledge and expertise, the DEP’s men and women have made the agency an unfailing guardian of New Jersey’s precious natural and historic resources.
ChargEVC-NJ is a not-for-profit coalition of diverse stakeholders that includes retail automotive dealers, utilities, consumer and equity advocates, environmental and labor organizations, and technology companies. See www.chargevc.org for more information.
About the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to growing the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy while helping to meet clean energy, climate, and economic development goals. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.