It is extremely positive to see franchised retailers embrace NFDA’s Electric Vehicle Approved accreditation scheme which demonstrates the efforts the automotive retail industry is making to drive the growth of the electric vehicle sector.
Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) is endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). NFDA launched the scheme in May 2019 to recognise expertise in the electric vehicle sector and promote industry standards for the benefit of the consumer. This week, EVA reached a key milestone: 50 dealerships have been ‘EV approved’ and will now be able to display their ‘EVA badge’. After six months of operation, there is a variety of EV approved retailers selling several major brands. These include Nissan, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai, Renault, Audi, Mitsubishi, JLR, BMW and Volvo.
Since the launch on 15 May 2019, 95% of the available slots have already been allocated and a number of them will be audited over the next months.
Under the EVA scheme, dealerships are independently audited by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to verify that they meet the EVA standards. The standards cover key areas of EV retail and aftersales including retailers’ communication with the consumer, staff training and availability of charge points on site.
Despite the huge growth of the battery electric vehicles sector, a large percentage of motorists still indicate that there are barriers preventing them from buying an electric car. In particular, cost, charging infrastructure and battery range.
Thanks to the EVA badge of approval, retailers will be able to communicate their knowledge and expertise to, ultimately, boost consumer confidence and overcome any perceived barriers. The EVA badge will give consumers more confidence in the retailers and reassure them that EV approved retailers possess all the skills they need to help motorists make an informed decision.
The electric vehicle sector is experiencing significant growth and retailers see increasing interest from consumers despite a number of challenges. We are confident through the continuous educational process implemented by retailers the current barriers will be overcome. Franchised retailers are working hard to inform their customers and provide them with the best possible experience. Having consumers recognise and trust the EVA badge will encourage the growth of the sector.
Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust commented, “It is welcome news that 50 more dealerships have passed EST’s robust and independent audit. This milestone means more people will be able to access a convenient EVA dealership, and dealers are keen to join the quickly expanding network. EVA accreditation guarantees knowledgeable staff to inform a vehicle purchase and an enhanced buying experience, as well as specifically-trained technicians to service and maintain the new or used EV to the highest standard. EV Approved accreditation brings together organisations with the shared ambition of increasing the sale of electric vehicles, and is critical to achieve a net-zero emission future in line with government ambition, as transport generates 26 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
NFDA looks forward to continuing to work with the Government and the Energy Saving Trust to support retailers and help them maximise the opportunities the transition to electric cars will offer.