Dealerships must act immediately to rapidly increase sales of electric vehicles ahead of January’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, MotorVise has warned.
Fraser Brown, founder and managing director of the automotive consultancy, says manufacturers will already be setting much higher EV targets for dealerships to avoid potentially eye-watering fines.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has already announced that, despite diluting net zero policies, the government still requires more than half of new cars in the UK to be electric within five years.
Despite rolling back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, ZEV will be introduced this January, which requires that more than 22% of each manufacturer’s new cars sold in 2024 are zero emission – or they risk a £15,000 fine for each vehicle beneath the target. The target is set to rise to 80% by 2030 and 100% in 2035.
Fraser said: “The time for dealers to act is now by ensuring their sales teams are prepared to rapidly increase the proportion of electric vehicles within their sales mix. Many dealers may think they don’t have to worry about EV sales just yet, but the reality is that Q4 orders won’t be delivered until Q1 – when they come under the ZEV mandate.
“A third of all EVs are produced by just three manufacturers and the only way manufacturers will avoid huge fines for each electric vehicle beneath the 20% target is to increase sales. Otherwise, we risk seeing some manufacturers either withdrawing from the UK or limiting the import of petrol and diesel vehicles. The impact could be huge.
“Retail sales of EVs lag behind fleet sales, so targeting retail presents a tremendous opportunity for dealerships to hit their manufacturer’s targets, which will be heavily slanted towards EV.”
In response, MotorVise has already launched an EV sales campaign which has been adopted by all the dealers it works with throughout the UK.
Unlike some specific EV sales events that are available, MotorVise has created general sales events that feature EVs to avoid totally alienating the 70% of consumers who have not considered making the switch.
Fraser added: “The dealerships we work with recognise the urgency of increasing their EV sales mix.
“Our approach is to provide consumers with balanced and factual information on EVs in the run-up to the event through our full customer contact management system, integrating mailer, text and email communications, so they are more open to the benefits of owning a zero emissions vehicle.”
MotorVise has also launched an electric/hybrid one day training course aimed at dealership managers, sales executives and controllers which is designed to allow them to talk confidently and knowledgeably about EVs
Key areas of learning include:
- Creating advocates for electric vehicles in all areas of a dealership
- Making sales teams a source of factual EV advice
- Offering customers an EV test drive together with a comparison sheet
- Advising on the best possible home charging options
It has also developed its own software that demonstrates EV ownership costs compared with petrol and diesel cars – balancing an EVs generally higher purchase price against lower running and maintenance costs.