The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has launched the Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme to certify retailers’ excellence in the electric vehicle (EV) sector.
The launch will take place at the House of Commons, where an audience of MPs, retailers and industry stakeholders will have an insight into the new initiative.
EVA has been developed by NFDA and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
The official launch of EVA follows a successful pilot phase that ran from November 2018 to February 2019 and includes a set of standards for EV retail and aftersales, established to ensure that the automotive industry is ready for electrification.
The goal of the scheme, which is open to all retailers, is to recognise expertise and promote industry standards to benefit the consumer and support the growth of the electric vehicle sector.
Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman said: “Record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are good news, as we seek to end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.
“The accreditation recognises businesses with knowledge, capability and commitment to electric vehicles, and will help to encourage more car owners to switch to a greener alternative.”
The EVA accreditation is awarded to individual dealership locations that are independently audited by the Energy Saving Trust. The independence of this process will give consumers the certainty that a retailer with the EVA accreditation is a leader in the sector.
Motorists need to consider different elements when purchasing an alternatively fuelled vehicle as opposed to a petrol or diesel one, for instance, battery range and the availability of charge points.
As a result, retailers need to be able to answer all the questions a customer may have, explain the benefits of owning an EV and clarify any possible confusion. Additionally, servicing an electric car requires a different level of specialisation and training.
Energy Saving Trust’s head of transport Matthew Eastwood said: “EVA accredited dealers possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure their customers have a positive and well informed experience when buying new or used plug in vehicles.
"Giving consumers confidence and supporting the growing uptake of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.”
The EVA scheme will ensure that retailers are ready for the market shift towards alternatively powered vehicles for the benefit of UK motorists.
National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA)’s director Sue Robinson said: “It is extremely positive to join forces with the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Energy Saving Trust to develop EVA, an initiative which we expect to play a key role in the market transition to electric vehicles.
"EVA will certify the efforts franchised retailers are making in the EV sector to meet the fast-growing consumer demand and will enable them to clearly communicate to their customers their expertise in the sector."