Buying an Electric Vehicle? Salespeople May Not Have the Whole Scoop

April 25, 2014 | 11:23 am
Josh Goldman
Former Contributor

The good folks over at Consumer Reports recently released a months-long survey that examined how much car salespeople knew about electric vehicles (EVs). It turns out that some dealerships were not entirely helpful when it came to discussing EVs and in some instances actually steered customers away from EVs and toward gas-powered conventional vehicles.

You can read more about the survey’s specific results here, but the main takeaway is that before shopping for an EV, or even a conventional vehicle, you should inform yourself before walking into the dealership. Use the dealership for a hands-on experience that will help you make the best decision for your driving needs, and don’t forget to call ahead to make sure the dealer has EVs in stock. Consumer Reports found that many dealerships had a limited selection of plug-in cars, even though the auto manufacturer may offer a variety of plug-in models.

And where can you get informed, you may ask? Well, reading the UCS blog would be a good start. I’ve blogged about the differences between the various types of electric vehicles along with the top 7 reasons to consider owning one, and my colleague Dave has discussed whether you should go with a diesel-powered car or a gasoline-electric hybrid. We’re also hard at work examining the lifecycle emissions from EVs compared to conventional vehicles so consumers can feel confident knowing that driving an EV makes a difference for our planet (hint: it does).

Want to dive a little deeper? Check out our EV timeline, which details every EV available on showroom floors today, and provides a sneak peek into models headed for the showrooms of tomorrow. We’ve also examined what makes consumers a good fit for an EV via a national survey we conducted in partnership with Consumers Union. The survey found that over 40 percent of American households with a vehicle could use a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle today—maybe you’re one of them.

Need even more information? Shoot me a note in the comment section below and stay tuned to the Equation for the next latest and greatest analysis from the UCS Clean Vehicles team.