A new government-backed scheme should make it easier to find a car dealer with a full understanding of electric vehicles.
The Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme is run by the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) in association with the Energy Saving Trust (EST). You will also find the EVA badge of approval for dealers advertising on Auto Trader.
Dealers will be audited by the EST before they are awarded EVA accreditation. Matthew Eastwood, head of transport at the EST, said: “EVA accredited dealers possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure their customers have a positive and well informed experience when buying new or used plug-in vehicles, giving consumers confidence and supporting the growing uptake of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.”
The EVA is the only scheme that certifies the efforts dealers are making to satisfy growth in demand for electric cars. An EVA retailer will have a management-level member of staff acting as an ‘EV ambassador’ for the dealer.
In addition, an EVA dealer must meet the following standards:
- The provision of clear and impartial sales advice
- Access to a range of materials and independent sources
- Staff trained to provide advice in plain language
- Documentary evidence relating to vehicle checks made prior to sale
- An electric car will be fully charged on collection
- Detailed sales information for all electric cars for sale in the showroom
- Clear warranty information for the car and battery
- All sales staff are trained to have a good understanding of electric cars
- Courtesy cars will be electric vehicles where possible
- EVA dealers have approved charging facilities on their premises
Full information on the EVA standards can be found here.
Getting the knowledge
In a move that’s likely to reassure people new to the electric car sector, an EVA dealer will ensure customers are comfortable with the functions and details of running an EV. The following information will be provided on collection/delivery:
- How to find a public charging point
- Who to contact to get a home charging point (wallbox) installed
- How to charge the electric vehicle
- Driving modes and their impact
- Realistic electric driving range
- EV features, including preconditioning
- How the on-board battery management systems are operated
- How to maintain the electric car and its battery
- Guidance on servicing and maintenance
EVA ‘gives motorists the confidence’
Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman said: “Record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are good news, as we seek to end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.
”The accreditation recognises businesses with knowledge, capability and commitment to electric vehicles, and will help to encourage more car owners to switch to a greener alternative.”
Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director for commercial products, added: “We’re committed to making the consumer buying experience more transparent and as stress-free as possible. The introduction of the EVA badge, along with a complete redesign of how retailers’ information is presented on their Auto Trader adverts, is a big part of that commitment.
“All of our data highlights the huge growth in consumer demand for low emission vehicles, so the EVA accreditation is an excellent way for retailers to stand out from their competitors and take advantage of this bright spot in the market.”