The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced a new program, in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Energy and Plug In America, to greatly enhance electric vehicle (EV) education at franchised dealerships nationwide. The dealership EV training program developed through this partnership is supported by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which will engage all vehicle manufacturers to further dealership participation across the U.S.
While automakers continue to bring more EVs to market, providing future EV buyers with the information and expertise to get them comfortable and confident with their first EV purchase is far more crucial to mass-market adoption and fleet turnover than just product alone. Franchised new-car and -truck dealerships are the key as consumers depend upon dealership sales and support staff to educate them on the current and forthcoming EV models, charging options, EV infrastructure, service requirements and the additional facets related to EV ownership.
“By bringing these two EV-focused powerhouse organizations together with NADA, we will efficiently educate dealers and help accelerate the mass market adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S.,” said NADA president and CEO Mike Stanton. “The dealership training program leverages the strengths of each organization and will ensure dealers are more than prepared to sell and service the EV future.”
The online, interactive program will be designed to complement OEM model-specific training and will serve as a brand-agnostic review of essential content that dealership sales staff need to be able to communicate with customers to efficiently close EV sales. The program will offer quick, easily digestible talking points that allow sales staff to confidently encourage potential EV buyers, and will include short modules to appeal to different learning styles.
“The electric vehicle market is moving beyond early adopters to consumers who have lots of questions about what it’s like to own an EV,” said CSE president Lawrence Goldenhersh. “Auto dealer sales staff sit at the nexus in this market transition, and will be called upon to provide confidence-creating, point-of-sale education to millions of auto buyers considering the move to an EV. We are honored to be working with NADA to provide the training that will empower these sales teams to be a trusted resource to the auto buyers they serve.”
“The transition to electric vehicles is now inevitable and dealers play an important role in helping consumers as they make the switch,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “We are excited to work with NADA and CSE to help dealers educate consumers about the many benefits of EVs, from cleaner air to convenience to the great driving experience.”
As a result of successfully completing the course, dealership sales staff will receive a program certification that documents their full understanding of and proficiency in various core competencies. Additionally, successful program participants will also receive Plug In America’s PlugStar certification. Sales staff who earn a certification will be eligible to participate in the all-new Dealer Referral Network, a consumer resource for identifying dealerships with staff trained and certified in EV sales.
“The auto industry is undergoing a significant transformation, and preparing the workforce will be key as new electric vehicle technologies come to market,” said Alliance for Automotive Innovation president and CEO John Bozzella. “We look forward to working with our dealer partners on this program.”