Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA) is urging leasing companies to get off the fence and start embracing EVs rather than looking for reasons to penalise users with high monthly contract hire rates.
SVA believes that if leasing companies put more time into educating the used market about EVs then demand will increase and prices will rise.
The secret to the success of any new engine, gearbox or technology is its acceptance in the used market, it says. Without this acceptance EV sales will continue to falter.
The call follows Nissan’s recent accusation that using data from auction houses alone, where the number of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf are minimal, has resulted in ‘incredibly pessimistic’ residual values (RVs) from leasing companies.
SVA’s independent dealer training scheme designed to encourage more buyers to purchase EVs at auction as part of their forecourt mix is already reaping results.
Alex Wright (pictured), managing director at SVA, said: “Educating used car traders about the benefits of EVs has given them the confidence to buy them at auction as part of their used car stock mix.
“We are already seeing cars like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe more readily purchased at market values, but the onus is now on the leasing sector to step up to the plate and help educate the used market if it wants to actively help promote the new technology.
“If the leasing industry does not wake up to the potential of EVs and the fact they are the future then both new and used EV sales will be adversely affected.
“I wholly sympathise with Nissan’s latest comments but also think all dealers with EVs in their range could do more on the used side. We have embarked on an extensive training programme to encourage buyers to opt for EVs when appropriate and it’s working, but we are just one auction house on the south coast so our impact, whilst important, is limited whereas the fleet sector’s acceptance of EVs would have a national effect on stimulating both new and used EV sales.”
Used sales executives at independent dealerships across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex were able to register for the free EV training from SVA and currently the courses have been oversubscribed.
General managers and MDs of used car businesses have registered for the courses following positive feedback from their sales staff and one dealer reported an eight fold increase in sales in one month, says SVA. Their new found knowledge has led to greater demand at auction and higher prices which will strengthen residual values in the long term.
The sessions, it says, provide independent dealers with the knowledge they need to give car buyers the confidence to buy a second-hand EV by tackling questions such as charge point compatibility, how the buyer will use the vehicle as part of their everyday travel and associated running costs, including charging.
SVA plans to implement dedicated training sessions with the Energy Saving Trust on electric light commercial vehicles in the future.