Stellantis tells US dealers how to get ready to sell EVs
Stellantis is introducing EV certification for its US dealers and wants outlets to be ready by 2024, when many of the first all-electric vehicles become available to US customers. Stellantis plans to roll out 25 EVs in North America within the decade.
The Detroit News broke the new demand on dealerships. The report relies on sources at Stellantis describing the latest request to dealers. “If our dealers want to continue to offer our electric vehicles into the future,” spokeswoman Diane Morgan said in an email, “they will need to make the necessary infrastructure modifications in their dealerships to sell those vehicles.”
The first is charging infrastructure. Stellantis will assign dealerships an anticipated EV sales volume with corresponding minimum requirements of chargers, so the sources. Detroit news further found Stellantis’ requirements necessitate at least one Level 3 DC fast charger, which can be open to charge EVs of third-party manufacturers.
Dealers also need the special tools and protective equipment required for repairs, including safety processes and procedures around battery removal, repair and storage must be in place. Employees will undergo training for EVs with the curriculum geared toward specific job functions.
The transition is not mandatory; however, if a dealer doesn’t install EV chargers to support EV products, it’ll limit their product offerings and likely impact their success in the future, Morgan told Detroit News.
Stellantis earlier this week said nearly 70% of US dealers are already in the process of assessing what they will need to start selling electric vehicles. The Group has partnered with Future Energy to help dealers with the assessment, i.e. planning how many chargers they may need to install at which costs, financial assistance and training.
In a statement to Detroit News, Phil Langley, Stellantis’ head of network development in North America, emphasized the changes coming to dealers with the incoming electric vehicles were being done in partnership with its dealer council.
Randy Dye, chairman of Stellantis’ national dealer council, added: “I don’t know that I’ve seen a better prepared, more comprehensive process.”
However, dealers will have to face different investments based on the level of power and utility infrastructure and energy supply available.
Stellantis plans to roll out 25 all-electric vehicles in the United States by the end of the decade. It currently only has plug-in hybrid cars, including the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee 4xe SUVs in the line-up.
The Group is not alone in asking dealers to prepare for the new electric vehicles. General Motors made infrastructure a provision for dealers to stay within their network earlier this year. Ford, too, in September, unveiled new EV standards to its 3,000 US dealers. The program for dealers that want to sell EVs includes investment requirements to install on-site EV charging infrastructure and guidelines on pricing.
In the UK, the readiness for sales has even taken an official note with the “Electric Vehicle Approved” (EVA) developed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. Audi has reportedly become the first carmaker to gain accreditation for every UK dealership. The EVA includes the customer qualification process, staff knowledge and training, EV demonstration and handover processes, and the availability of EV service bays and charging points on site.