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Are Car Dealerships Now Actively Advertising Electric Vehicles? A lot has been written about traditional automakers trying very hard to delay the mass adoption of EVs as they still have massive investments made in the ICE ecosystem to recoup. And so, it follows car dealerships then generally promote ICE vehicles over EVs and have a huge ICE vehicle inventory to push. The majority of consumers still don’t have a lot of knowledge on EVs and would depend on their local dealerships to educate them on EV’s. A 2018 paper by Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens et al, published in the Journal Nature Energy (Link), looked into how dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption. Has anything changed since then? I visited several dealerships in South Africa to have a feel of how some dealerships are handling EVs. A lot of dealerships for BMW and Jaguar in South Africa are actively promoting their EVs. Most of the BMW and Jaguar dealerships I visited were eager to offer test drives of the i3 and the I Pace. Jaguar dealerships really go out of their way to showcase the I Pace. They regularly take the I Pace to exhibitions at malls, upmarket residential and golf estates. In most cases, they make it their star attraction. Prospective customers can also take the I Pace for a test run at the Experience Centre in Lonehill, Johannesburg. I was also pleasantly surprised when we went up north across the border to find a big banner (Image) at a Nissan dealership (Image) in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe advertising the new Nissan Leaf alongside several ICE models as “Coming Soon”. How soon is soon? Who knows? But it was refreshing to see it there. Will keep an eye open for any updates on this. I also experienced a bit of the dismissive approach at one dealership in Johannesburg. With South Africa being one of Africa’s most advanced vehicle financing markets, I had assumed getting an i3 or something on a lease or month on month rental would be a piece of cake. Wrong! The gentleman who served me was friendly and cheerful. I told him I was looking for a lease or a month on month rental on an i3 and he referred me to his manager to see if it was possible. The manager then informed me they did not have such kind of a facility (the kind of short-term/month on month lease I was looking for). They also didn’t have an i3 instore at that time, but they did not seem to go out of their way to check with any of their sister dealerships to see if they could assist even on a more long-term financing arrangement. They were quick to offer to show me the many “marvelous” ICE models in their showroom and were nudging me consider one of those instead for a longer-term lease/financing arrangement. To their credit, they later referred me to several general car leasing companies to see if they could assist but all those car leasing firms said they did not have any electric vehicles in their fleets. There are a thousand odd EVs on South Africa’s roads. Sales have been a bit slow but are promising to pick up as the selection of EV models now available in South Africa has improved. A few more models will be launched during the course of the year like the new Mini E, the Mercedes EQC and hopefully the Audi E-tron. South Africa’s busload of taxes and import duties on electric vehicles aren’t helping improve the situation though. With this tax disadvantage that impacts the sticker price negatively, one hopes car dealerships will bring out their A Game to push the EVs in their stable. It would be good hear them educate consumers on the advantages of driving an EV e.g. the benefit on one’s pocket when it comes to the total cost of ownership. It seems in this part of the World; some dealerships still don’t make the extra effort to promote EVs’, but a lot more are keen to showcase EVs. Links: paper by Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens et al, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-018-0152-x Images: A Nissan Dealership in Downtown Harare, Zimbabwe Advertising the New Nissan Leaf. Picture by Remeredzai Kuhudzai
Are Car Dealerships Now Actively Advertising Electric Vehicles? A lot has been written about traditional automakers trying very hard to delay the mass adoption of EVs as they still have massive investments made in the ICE ecosystem to recoup. And so, it follows car dealerships then generally promote ICE vehicles over EVs and have a huge ICE vehicle inventory to push. The majority of consumers still don’t have a lot of knowledge on EVs and would depend on their local dealerships to educate them on EV’s. A 2018 paper by Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens et al, published in the Journal Nature Energy (Link), looked into how dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption. Has anything changed since then? I visited several dealerships in South Africa to have a feel of how some dealerships are handling EVs. A lot of dealerships for BMW and Jaguar in South Africa are actively promoting their EVs. Most of the BMW and Jaguar dealerships I visited were eager to offer test drives of the i3 and the I Pace. Jaguar dealerships really go out of their way to showcase the I Pace. They regularly take the I Pace to exhibitions at malls, upmarket residential and golf estates. In most cases, they make it their star attraction. Prospective customers can also take the I Pace for a test run at the Experience Centre in Lonehill, Johannesburg. I was also pleasantly surprised when we went up north across the border to find a big banner (Image) at a Nissan dealership (Image) in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe advertising the new Nissan Leaf alongside several ICE models as “Coming Soon”. How soon is soon? Who knows? But it was refreshing to see it there. Will keep an eye open for any updates on this. I also experienced a bit of the dismissive approach at one dealership in Johannesburg. With South Africa being one of Africa’s most advanced vehicle financing markets, I had assumed getting an i3 or something on a lease or month on month rental would be a piece of cake. Wrong! The gentleman who served me was friendly and cheerful. I told him I was looking for a lease or a month on month rental on an i3 and he referred me to his manager to see if it was possible. The manager then informed me they did not have such kind of a facility (the kind of short-term/month on month lease I was looking for). They also didn’t have an i3 instore at that time, but they did not seem to go out of their way to check with any of their sister dealerships to see if they could assist even on a more long-term financing arrangement. They were quick to offer to show me the many “marvelous” ICE models in their showroom and were nudging me consider one of those instead for a longer-term lease/financing arrangement. To their credit, they later referred me to several general car leasing companies to see if they could assist but all those car leasing firms said they did not have any electric vehicles in their fleets. There are a thousand odd EVs on South Africa’s roads. Sales have been a bit slow but are promising to pick up as the selection of EV models now available in South Africa has improved. A few more models will be launched during the course of the year like the new Mini E, the Mercedes EQC and hopefully the Audi E-tron. South Africa’s busload of taxes and import duties on electric vehicles aren’t helping improve the situation though. With this tax disadvantage that impacts the sticker price negatively, one hopes car dealerships will bring out their A Game to push the EVs in their stable. It would be good hear them educate consumers on the advantages of driving an EV e.g. the benefit on one’s pocket when it comes to the total cost of ownership. It seems in this part of the World; some dealerships still don’t make the extra effort to promote EVs’, but a lot more are keen to showcase EVs. Links: paper by Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens et al, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-018-0152-x Images: A Nissan Dealership in Downtown Harare, Zimbabwe Advertising the New Nissan Leaf. Picture by Remeredzai Kuhudzai

Cars

Are Car Dealerships Now Actively Advertising Electric Vehicles? — South Africa Example

A lot has been written about traditional automakers trying very hard to delay the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), as they still have massive investments made in the internal combustion engine (ICE) ecosystem to recoup.

A lot has been written about traditional automakers trying very hard to delay the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), as they still have massive investments made in the internal combustion engine (ICE) ecosystem to recoup. So, it follows that car dealerships generally promote ICE vehicles over EVs and have a huge ICE vehicle inventory to push. Importantly, the majority of consumers still don’t have a lot of knowledge of EVs and depend on their local dealerships to educate them on EVs. Historically, though, that has not been a good way for consumers to learn about EVs.

A 2018 paper by Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens et al, published in the journal Nature Energy, looked into how dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption. Has anything changed since then?

I visited several dealerships in South Africa to have a feel of how some dealerships are handling EVs. A lot of dealerships for BMW and Jaguar in South Africa are actually now actively promoting their EVs. Most of the BMW and Jaguar dealerships I visited were eager to offer test drives of the i3 and the I-PACE. Jaguar dealerships really go out of their way to showcase the I-PACE. They regularly take the I-PACE to exhibitions at malls, upmarket residential and golf estates, and so on. In most cases, they make it their star attraction. Prospective customers can also take the I-PACE for a test run at the Experience Centre in Lonehill, Johannesburg.

Advertising the new Nissan LEAF

Image: Advertising the new Nissan LEAF, by Remeredzai Kuhudzai/CleanTechnica.

I was also pleasantly surprised when we went up north across the border to find a big banner at a Nissan dealership in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe advertising the new Nissan Leaf alongside several ICE models as “Coming Soon”. How soon is soon? Who knows? But it was refreshing to see it there. Will keep an eye open for any updates on this.

A Nissan dealership in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe

Image: A Nissan dealership in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe, by Remeredzai Kuhudzai/CleanTechnica.

On the other hand, I also experienced a bit of the dismissive approach at one dealership in Johannesburg. With South Africa being one of Africa’s most advanced vehicle financing markets, I had assumed getting an i3 or something on a lease or month-on-month rental would be a piece of cake. Wrong! The gentleman who served me was friendly and cheerful. I told him I was looking for a lease or a month-on-month rental on an i3, and he referred me to his manager to see if it was possible. The manager then informed me they did not have such facility (the kind of short-term/month-on-month lease I was looking for). They also didn’t have an i3 in store at that time, and they did not seem to go out of their way to check with any of their sister dealerships to see if they could assist even on a more long-term financing arrangement. They were quick to offer to show me the many “marvelous” ICE models in their showroom and were nudging me to consider one of those instead for a longer-term lease/financing arrangement. To their credit, they later referred me to several general car leasing companies to see if they could assist, but all of those car leasing firms said they did not have any electric vehicles in their fleets.

There are a thousand odd EVs on South Africa’s roads. Sales have been a bit slow but are promising to pick up as the selection of EV models now available in South Africa has improved. A few more models will be launched during the course of the year, like the new Mini E, the Mercedes EQC, and hopefully the Audi e-tron. South Africa’s busload of taxes and import duties on electric vehicles aren’t helping improve the situation, though.  With this tax disadvantage impacting the sticker price negatively, one hopes car dealerships will bring out their “A game” to push the EVs in their stables. It would be good hear them educate consumers on the advantages of driving an EV — e.g., the benefit on one’s pocket when it comes to the total cost of ownership. It seems in this part of the world, some dealerships still don’t make the extra effort to promote EVs, but a lot more are keen to showcase EVs.

 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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