How to sell electric cars in these early years poses a dilemma for all automakers, according to Green Car Reports.
Tesla chose to avoid existing franchised dealerships and set up its own ‘stores’, where shoppers can learn about plug-in electric vehicles and their advantages, and have questions answered by Tesla representatives. Buyers then order online.
Other makers have had less success with dropping an electric car or two into dealerships used to petrol vehicles.
Renault is opening its first electric car only showroom to display its growing line up of battery-electric vehicles, separate from dealers and displays with petrol and diesel cars.
The ‘Renault Electric Vehicle Experience Centre’ is opening in Sweden, in one of its largest shopping centres.
Renault said it has designed a ‘physical and digital journey’ so visitors can learn about how electric cars work day-to-day life and figure out which may be right for them.
Different zones within the space display the cars themselves and educate visitors on charging stations and how public charging works.
Outside, visitors can test-drive Renault’s range of battery-electric vehicles, including the Zoe subcompact hatchback, the best-selling electric car in Europe for several years now.
And, of course, at the end of their drives and education, they can configure and order a car as well. Advisors will be on hand seven days a week, Renault said.
The goal is both to use digital tools in new ways to educate shoppers and help them make the right vehicles decisions and to open new distribution channels beyond the usual dealer network.
Renault said it is evaluating opening similar stores in other European cities.