by Shani Kotecha
Energy Saving Trust and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) are endorsing a new accreditation scheme for electric vehicle retailers. Developed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), the Electric Vehicle Approved scheme aims to support people who want to buy an electric vehicle by ensuring that retailers adhere to a set of approved standards.
Electric vehicles are growing in popularity with over 60,000 new electric vehicles hitting the road in the first four months of 2019 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That’s more than 50% more than over the equivalent period in 2018. It’s all the more impressive when set against a background of declining petrol and diesel vehicle sales.
While electric vehicle sales still form a small share of the overall market, the trend is clear. For many people, the government’s declaration of a climate emergency has served to underline the importance of switching to electric vehicles. Green transport infrastructure is growing across the country, battery technology is improving and former barriers to going electric are breaking down.
As the electric vehicle market develops, the rapidly growing choice of makes and models on the market can be overwhelming. Motorists need to consider different points of differentiation when purchasing an alternatively fuelled vehicle, such as battery range and the availability of charge points.
As a result, retailers need to be able to answer all the questions a customer may have, explain the benefits of owning an electric vehicle and clarify any possible confusion. Additionally, servicing an electric car requires a different level of specialisation and training.
The recently launched Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme aims to support people in their buying choices by verifying electric vehicle retailers and providing clear certification to reliable dealers.
Developed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), and endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust and Office for Low Emission Vehicles, this new accreditation includes a set of standards for electric vehicle retail and aftersales to ensure that the automotive industry is ready to embrace the electrification of the UK car market.
Choosing to purchase your electric vehicle from an EVA certified retailer is a way to ensure that you are working with experts, who can provide up-to-date information and advice about electric vehicles and their specifications, which may not be available at all general vehicle retailers.
Energy Saving Trust will independently audit individual dealership locations before awarding the EVA accreditation. Undertaking the auditing as an independent body should reassure people that a retailer with the EVA accreditation is a leader in the sector.
Matthew Eastwood, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust 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.
Electric Vehicle Approved retailers will feature the EVA logo, pictured above. You can visit the EVA website to find out more about the scheme, or follow @EVApproved on Twitter to keep updated with news about the scheme