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The results of the study highlight the need for deeper knowledge and better communication skills among car salespeople.

The Dutch government is strongly committed to promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions in the mobility sector. A series of measures, including tax incentives, legal frameworks and expanding the charging infrastructure, support this ambition. In addition, a lot of attention is paid to informing and educating both consumers and car sellers to remove misunderstandings and prejudices surrounding electric driving.

Research shows that the switch from traditional fuel cars to electric variants is influenced by various factors, including the purchase price, range, and monthly costs. These findings, recorded in a 2023 TNO study, lay the foundation for a renewed focus on the used car market for EVs, a segment that is still in its infancy but is rapidly gaining in importance.

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A recently sponsored by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management research focuses specifically on the sales experiences of consumers who are considering purchasing a used EV. In collaboration with consultancy firms Rebel and excap, we are investigating the provision of information by car sellers to potential buyers of EV used cars. The goal is to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of these interactions.

Existing 'customer journey' research into the purchasing experiences of private individuals has shown that relatively many car salespeople deter interested parties with negative stories about high running costs, limited range, fire hazard and environmental fables.

The results of the study show that there are significant differences in the quality of advice between brand dealers and universal car companies. Brand dealers generally score better in tailoring their advice to the customer's needs, partly due to a more thorough needs analysis during sales conversations. Still, the overall performance of the automotive industry shows room for improvement, with an average score of 53% for the complete sales experience.

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Although brand dealers are performing better in tailoring their advice to customer needs, the average score of 53% for the overall sales experience shows that there is still much room for improvement. This underlines the urgency for targeted training and further education to increase the quality of services.

Key topics such as maintenance costs, charging infrastructure and battery health are often not adequately discussed, indicating a lack of in-depth knowledge among car salespeople. Offering a test drive is often offered and appreciated, but information about the total cost of ownership (TCO) of EVs is inadequate.

No seller creates a validated methodology to calculate TCO. If a calculation is made, it is based on its own methodology. The topics of 'charging stations' and 'battery pack' are rarely discussed spontaneously during the sales conversation. The knowledge about this and the support that car companies offer is also limited.

The findings emphasize the need to improve the knowledge and services of car sellers regarding electric used cars. By paying continued attention to training and information provision, the quality of service in the automotive industry can improve, which will further stimulate the adoption of electric vehicles.

The commitment of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, together with partners such as Rebel and excap, to tackle these challenges shows a clear commitment to a more sustainable future of mobility in the Netherlands. By raising the knowledge standard and improving the customer journey when purchasing electric used cars, we contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and promoting a greener car market.

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