Dealers caught napping by EV surge

More than half of retailers admit to being unprepared for the growing customer demand for electric vehicles.

According to a survey carried out by Auto Trader, 51% of dealerships say they are not ready for the widespread uptake of EVs. Independent dealerships are least prepared, with 59.9% saying they are unprepared to respond to surging demand.

Auto Trader’s Road to 2030 report also found that 50.4% of dealers have never sold an EV. Of those who have, just over a third (37.8%) have had electric chargers fitted at their dealership.

Despite these figures, retailers do not appear to be in a rush to catch up, with nearly half (45%) of independents saying the tipping point will not come until 2030.

Marc Palmer, brand director at Auto Trader, said: “There’s a massive opportunity here for retailers to start to think about they will sell EVs and how they will arm themselves with the right information and, crucially, the right training. It’s likely that the earliest interactions many retailers will have with EVs is at used car auctions. Auction lists will soon start to fill up with used EVs and retailers won’t be able to rely on instinct and experience as they have in the past with used ICE vehicles.

“They’ll need to take a data-led approach to buying used EVs, including what to bid for and how much to bid, to ensure their stock offering evolves with consumer and environmental demands. EVs aren’t to be feared, and they certainly shouldn’t be ignored as very soon they will become a meaningful part of a retailer’s’ forecourt.”