The new Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme from the National Franchised Dealers Association has been endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said it is an “extremely positive” development for EVA.
The EVA pilot scheme is open to motor retailers, whether NFDA members or not, in the first instance from November 2018 to February 2019.
The slots for the pilot phase will be allocated on first come first served basis to ensure a fair geographical representation of the UK. The pilot will be used to establish the scheme and the NFDA will monitor the operation before an official launch to consumers in 2019.
EVA is a set of standards for sales and aftersales, developed by NFDA and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
It is the only scheme, open to all automotive retailers, which certifies the efforts retailers are making in the EV sector to meet the ever-changing consumer demand.
It launched the initiative in response to rapid growth in pure electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), as many manufacturers have ambitious plans for the expansion of both the model range and volume of models sold.
As interest from consumers grows, the NFDA said consumers have found buying a plug-in car more complex than purchasing an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, due to the additional considerations to be taken into account and possible lifestyle impacts.
It means dealers have a central role in helping the UK consumer feel confident enough to buy an electric vehicle, it said.
It wants a retailer who has committed significant time and resources to EVs to meet the standards set by EVA and then be able to communicate clearly to consumers, through the EVA trust mark, their expertise in the sector.
The EVA status is awarded to individual dealership locations and not to dealer groups. Once a dealer group decides which site(s) they wish to be EVA members, NFDA will arrange for an audit to occur at these locations.
The audit will be performed by the Energy Saving Trust and will result in either a pass or referral. NFDA is the awarding body and on receipt of a successful audit report will grant the dealership site EVA membership.
Robinson added: “Cooperation between government and industry is vital for the UK to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the electric vehicles sector, while meeting emission targets and satisfying consumer demand.
“NFDA looks forward to working with OLEV and the Energy Saving Trust to give automotive retailers the opportunity to show their excellence in electric vehicle retail”.