Dealerships could fail to meet the increasing demand for EV test drives due to the number of demonstrators exceeding the number of available forecourt charging points.
A survey by automotive consultancy MotorVise found that some dealerships had 12 EV demonstrators vying for two charging points and that just 13.5% of salespeople possess a home charger despite 56% having an EV as a company car.
It warns that this widespread disparity could curb the availability of test drives for potential customers, further reinforcing the scepticism that already surrounds the technology.
MotorVise is calling upon dealerships to fund home chargers for its salespeople, allowing them to charge demonstrator vehicles overnight ensuring cars are returned to the dealership with the maximum possible range.
It pointed out that even after salespeople have reclaimed the cost, a dealership could still save up to five times the amount compared with charging the demonstrators during the day.
Fraser Brown, the founder and chief executive of MotorVise, points out this will also benefit the sales teams by giving them a real world insight into the practicalities of owning an EV which can be passed on to customers.
He said: “Our survey reveals that by the end of this year there will simply be too many EV demonstrators to charge at dealerships, even after major power supply upgrades, and this will impact on availability of test drives.
The survey by MotorVise, which has launched its bespoke ‘Enhancing EV Mix Programme’, a training system designed to boost the EV retail sales mix to a minimum of 20%, involved 75 salespeople across 60 UK dealerships.
It found that out of those 60 dealerships, 60% had more EV demonstrator vehicles than charging points – one having 20 EVs compared with just eight charging points, while four had 12 demonstrators and just two charging points. Only 29.3% had more charging points than EVs, while 10.6% had an equal number.
Brown added: “Given the greater supply of EVs and an increasing number of motorists considering making the switch, it simply won’t be possible to charge all EV demonstrators on site. By the end of this year that pressure will undoubtedly have grown.
“The majority of sales teams have an EV knowledge shortfall, with any training usually delivered for specific products or vehicles.
“Our survey found 86.5% of salespeople don’t have a home charging point. By supplying one, dealerships can ensure demonstrators are fully charged using the cheapest overnight tariff while their sales teams receive a true ownership experience.
“It will provide them with a much better insight into EVs and home charging that can be passed onto the customer, greatly enhancing the sales process.”