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How to Prepare for the Rise of Electric Vehicles as a Car Dealer

electric vehicle dealership

According to the most recent ZeroSum data, electric and hybrid vehicle inventory is rapidly increasing, up around 22% from September. For auto dealers, this means that more stock could be headed to their lots in the near future. Here’s how you can prepare for an influx of EVs.

 

Obtain required certifications

The first step towards becoming an EV-ready dealer is to obtain any certifications that are required by your manufacturer, government, or other entity. For example, in order to sell electric vehicles, Ford dealers either need to become Certified or Certified Elite dealers. Otherwise, they will be restricted to Ford Blue, selling traditional combustion engine cars. This certification requires that dealers meet a series of requirements, including installing chargers and implementing non-negotiable pricing. Once you decide you want to sell electric cars, check with your OEM and identify what you will need to do to comply with their policies.  

 

Gain the necessary equipment and infrastructure

Becoming an EV dealer means more than just selling electric cars. It also means you’ll need to charge and service those vehicles. Make sure you have a sufficient amount of EV chargers and verify with your manufacturer if you need to have any special types of fast chargers or public facing chargers available. Hire employees with the right expertise and acquire all necessary equipment. This could include physical equipment as well as software required by your manufacturer.

 

Acquire electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are in high demand. With benefits including saving money on fuel, self-driving capabilities, eco-friendliness, and more, EVs are more in-demand than ever. As a result, the EV market can also struggle with availability. If you want to sell a lot of EVs, your first step is to acquire them. Continue to focus on increasing turn rates for your non-electric cars. This demonstrates to your manufacturer that you are capable of turning inventory, and you will be more likely to receive priority allocation as more EVs become available.

 

Create a sales plan and be ready to adjust

Once you have EVs to sell, you can focus on your plan for profitability. You will need to decide if you will be selling, new, used, or both and what your marketing and sales strategy will look like. Examine your overhead and equipment costs along with market prices to determine your desired profit margin. From there, continue to monitor the EV market for changes in inventory and pricing, and be prepared to adjust marketing accordingly to ensure you are always hitting your sales targets.

Also, keep an eye on EV tax credits, and keep your customers informed as this can be a great selling point for them. As of right now, they can earn up to a $7,500 tax credit for buying an EV, but not many vehicles will qualify. However, a new bill called the Affordable Electric Vehicles for America Act has just been proposed in Congress. If it is passed, more vehicles will qualify.

 

With the electric vehicle market rapidly evolving, you’ll need to pay extremely close attention to what is happening in the market around you. To stay one step ahead of the competition, read the monthly ZeroSum Market First Report, detailing the latest automotive industry EV insights and trends for dealers.

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