Auto dealerships have emerged as a major roadblock on the way to widespread EV adoption. Most (but not all) dealers have little knowledge of or interest in EVs, and some actively discourage customers from buying. Tesla’s direct-sales model seems to work well enough, but even the Prophets of Palo Alto can’t save the world alone.
A new venture called EVEN Electric has announced that it will take up the quest, forming a global sales and distribution network to offer new and pre-owned EVs from multiple brands.
“The traditional dealership model has proven unable to deliver the sales and service experience that EV owners want and need,” said Mike Elwood, CEO of the new Canada-based firm. “Our EVEN model was developed to combine the best aspects of both an on-line and in-store retail experience to make it easy for EV customers to find and acquire exactly what they want, when and where they want it.”
“Moving from dealership to dealership to shop one car at a time is simply an outdated process. EVEN has created an entirely new distribution model – one that is enabled by technology to offer customers an unprecedented level of choice and convenience,” said John Gordon, EVEN’s COO. “At the same time, EVEN will significantly lower costs across the entire supply chain by optimizing the flow of EVs directly to the global markets when and where they’re needed.”
EVEN plans to maintain inventories at centralized processing centers in key countries. Once selected, a vehicle will be shipped to the nearest Customer Centre, a streamlined and less capital-intensive version of a dealership, to be delivered either at the Customer Centre or directly to an owner’s driveway.
EVEN grew out of a pilot project in Iceland that took place during 2013 and 2014. “What we learned in Iceland is that consumer demand for EVs is high, provided the proper distribution and infrastructure services are in place” says Gisli Gislason, Chairman and founder of EVEN. “The EVEN model quickly sold 100 cars and left an additional 200 orders unmet simply due to supply constraints. Overall, our biggest problem was sourcing enough EV products to meet demand.”
EVEN is now consulting with governments, fleets and NGOs in Canada, Norway, Panama, Ireland, Belgium and the UK, and has assembled a lineup of top EV talent.
“You can’t find a more dedicated or experienced team anywhere,” says Elwood, “because there’s nobody who’s been more directly involved with and committed to EV commercialization than the team we’ve assembled.”
“EV infrastructure is improving, political will is changing, incentives continue and lifecycle ownership costs of an EV are one tenth of an ICE. That makes the whole EV ownership process more accessible, more desirable and more fun.”
Source: EVEN Electric