AM asks: Should dealers fully charge customers’ electric vehicles for free as part of a service?
Opinion is divided in the motor industry over whether consumers buying an electric car should get it charged by their dealer during service and maintenance work. The cost to the dealer and on-site limited charging infrastructure are the main objections, although a narrow majority believe the benefits in terms of customer experience would be worth it.
One opponent stated: “It would congest the site and require far too many charging points. We don’t currently refuel customers cars so why should this be different?”
Another added: “Manufacturer support is needed to pay towards the expected experience. A franchised dealer already gives ‘cut price servicing’, wash and vac, alternative mobility, etc. The margins are little enough without adding to the increasingly difficult problem of overhead absorption.”
But dealers who voted yes believe it demonstrates good customer service and attention to detail. One said: “It ensures that the vehicle is charging correctly, allowing for possible upsell of battery repair/replacement that will be happening soon on the older electrics. Also the charge could easily be passed on, as is the case with the environmental disposal charge for oil and oil filters at the moment.”
Another added: “I think they should. It’s a nice low-cost but high perceived-value way to enhance a service visit. We try to, but it requires infrastructure and planning.”
Results: Should dealers fully charge customers’ electric vehicles for free as part of a service?