A Swindon motor dealer has secured its position at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution by becoming the first in the region to win industry recognition for its expertise in selling and maintaining electric vehicles.
Pebley Beach has become the first car dealership within a 50km radius of Swindon to be accredited by EVA, the Electric Vehicle Approved scheme.
EVA was launched in May this year by the National Franchised Dealers Association to certify retailers’ excellence in the electric vehicle sector. It has the backing of OLEV – the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles – and the Energy Saving Trust.
To win accreditation, dealerships must be vetted by independent auditors against a set of standards for electric vehicle retail and after-sales that have been established by the NFDA.
Electric vehicle drivers can find their nearest EVA-accredited dealership at www.EVapproved.co.uk
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, explained: "Consumers tend to find buying a plug-in car more complex than purchasing an internal combustion engine vehicle.
"Motorists need to consider different elements when purchasing an alternatively fuelled vehicle as opposed to a petrol or diesel one, for instance, battery range and the availability of charge points.
"As a result, retailers need to be able to answer all the questions a customer may have, explain the benefits of owning an electric vehicle and clarify any possible confusion.
"Additionally, servicing an electric car requires a different level of specialisation and training.
"The EVA scheme will ensure that retailers are ready for the market shift towards alternatively powered vehicles for the benefit of UK motorists."
Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach, said: "The government has set a target to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Some people say that target is ambitious, others that we need to get there a lot sooner.
"The market for pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles has experienced significant growth, and although they still represent a small percentage of the new cars sold each month we're proud to be driving the electric vehicle revolution in Swindon.
"EVA accreditation means that owners of any make or model of electric vehicle can bring their car to us, safe in the knowledge that we have the equipment and expertise to carry out repairs, servicing, and MOTs."
Last month, the dealership launched a green car sales brand to promote low-emission vehicles.
Go Green is a physical and online area for the sale of used cars that emit less than 100 grammes per kilometre of CO2.
As cleaner engines, hybrids, and electric vehicles filter into the used car market, the CO2 bar to Go Green entry will be lowered.
It is also taking small steps to reduce its own carbon footprint. It has signed a deal with Haven Power to meet its energy needs with certified wind- and solar-generated electricity and is working to reduce single-use plastics from its supply chain.
* The Hyundai Kona electric – the first electric compact SUV in Europe, and winner of the technology award at the What Car? Car of the Year Awards – is available to test-drive now. The model retails at £35,000 and has a range of 279 miles.