The Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme was launched on Wednesday 15 May 2019 by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) at the House of Commons, where an audience of MPs, retailers and industry stakeholders will have an insight into the new initiative.
The scheme was developed by NFDA to certify retailers’ excellence in the electric vehicle sector and it was endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
The official launch of EVA follows a successful pilot phase that ran from November 2018 to February 2019. The scheme includes a set of standards for electric vehicle retail and aftersales that have been established to ensure that the automotive industry is ready to embrace the electrification of the UK car market.
The goal of the scheme, which is open to all retailers, is to recognise expertise and promote industry standards to benefit the consumer and support the growth of the electric vehicle sector.
The EVA accreditation is awarded to individual dealership locations that are independently audited by the Energy Saving Trust. The independence of this process will give consumers the certainty that a retailer with the EVA accreditation is a leader in the sector.
Pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have been experiencing significant growth. However, they continue to represent a small proportion of the UK car parc. Consumers tend to find buying a plug-in car more complex than purchasing an internal combustion engine vehicle. Motorists need to consider different elements when purchasing an alternatively fuelled vehicle as opposed to a petrol or diesel one, for instance, 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 EVA scheme will ensure that retailers are ready for the market shift towards alternatively powered vehicles for the benefit of UK motorists.
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.”
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.
“With transport generating 26 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the sale of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles is critical in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions in line with government targets.”
Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said, “It is extremely positive to join forces with the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Energy Saving Trust to develop EVA, an initiative which we expect to play a key role in the market transition to electric vehicles. EVA will certify the efforts franchised retailers are making in the EV sector to meet the fast-growing consumer demand and will enable them to clearly communicate to their customers their expertise in the sector”.