Selling used EVs requires the right environment

Here’s how you can create that environment, where used EV sales can happen—seamlessly.

They say there’s no such thing as a product that sells itself.

When it comes to selling used electric vehicles (EVs), top performing dealers know they can do so when good prospects are provided with a pro-EV dealership experience.

Mikaël Pilotte is the ninth team member at ChargeHub to transition to an EV. Based in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Mikaël was certain his next vehicle would be second-hand. Today, he shares his experience to offer his perspective on a mindset dealerships will increasingly face: prospects looking to purchase used EVs.

Here’s what to consider:

If a prospect is looking for a used EV at your dealership, you most likely have the model they want.

“I had a 2006 Mazda 3 that was reaching the end of its lifespan and told myself I would purchase a used vehicle once I completed my studies,” said Mikaël. “At the time, I was looking at all the different possibilities, including electric models.”

He said joining ChargeHub gave him “a boost to go more in-depth in my search for a used EV model that would be a good fit for my lifestyle.” With the financial incentives offered when purchasing an EV, Mikaël said it was clear his next vehicle would be electric.

He said his go-to source for information was Auto Hebdo (or in English), and that his research helped him narrow down which model he wanted: a Chevrolet Bolt. Reviews and comparisons revealed a great quality and price ratio, with good range for 2017 to 2019 models.

To successfully sell an EV, Mikaël said the dealership needs to develop a different approach towards these customers so that they feel confident in their purchase.

“Of course, the newer the model, the better the range,” said Mikaël. “Still, I was open to purchasing a 2017 model if it crossed my path.”

In the end, Mikaël visited three dealerships in his area because he was aware they had Chevrolet Bolts. He eventually purchased a 2019 model.

How prospects discover your salespeople don’t know their stuff when it comes to used EVs

Curbside Level 2 charging stations are increasingly being deployed on streets by cities and municipalities. These can provide a full charge overnight to a standard EV (typically six to eight hours, depending on the model).

According to Mikaël, there are still many misconceptions on what EV charging and maintenance entails.

“Upon purchasing the EV, when the salesperson explained what my warranty included, they said it was the usual stuff, like an engine and transmission,” said Mikaël. “But that doesn’t apply to an EV! This happens all the time: a bunch of EV drivers share their experience in forums about how they get call backs from their dealers to schedule an ‘oil change.’”

To successfully sell an EV, Mikaël said the dealership needs to develop a different approach towards these customers so that they feel confident in their purchase. And that confidence needs to be present at each and every touch point the prospective buyer has in their used EV buying journey with the dealership.

Understanding the basics of EV charging

“I remember the salesperson telling me I needed to purchase a home charging station,” said Mikaël. “Of course, if I end up owning a house, there’s no question it’s more convenient to have one installed. However, I live in an apartment and it’s important to know that there are options for those people who are not living in single-homes.”

Mikaël said he knew it was still possible to charge at home because he had private parking and access to a 120V outlet. He also uses public charging regularly.

“My go-to spot is a Level 2 charging station operated by FLO near the soccer field where I coach in the evenings,” said Mikaël. “Furthermore, when work resumes, I know I can charge there too.”

We all have that image of a salesperson who can convince prospects into buying any car. But with used EVs, even the best salesperson can see its performance hindered if the dealership doesn’t adjust its overall experience to ensure it caters to those buyers specifically walking in to buy a used EV.

For used vehicle sales staff to reach peak performance, dealerships need to reduce friction that could get in the way of selling used EVs seamlessly.

The specific mindset of prospects like Mikaël, who seek to purchase a used EV, must be understood in order to be efficient at selling these cars—whether you have just one used EV or an entire fleet for sale on your lot.

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