Electric Car Guest Drive Showcases EVs Without Sales Pressure


With Tesla Motors taking on the embedded car dealer lobby, there’s been a nationwide discussion about the way we buy cars. For people interested in buying electric cars, shopping for an EV can be especially frustrating when dealing with uninformed or disinterested salespeople who don’t know the first thing about these new cars.

But there’s hope, and in comes in the form of Electric Car Guest Drive, a group of EV enthusiasts who this past month banded together to provide free test drives of a variety of electric vehicles, without a know-nothing or high-pressure salesman on board.

Headed by Christopher Alan, “chief instigator” of this idea, explained the origin of this great idea.

“Because it’s a new technology and a more complicated sales process for them, auto dealers are not particularly motivated to take the time to give customers a full explanation of the benefits of electric cars. Auto dealers are not in the education business. Auto dealers are in the sales business. Many dealers will candidly tell you that it takes more time to sell an electric car, because there’s a lot of new technology, and the way you fuel the car and plan your trips is different than a gasoline powered car. Most dealers would rather sell you a gas powered car because it’s easier, and it’s in their economic interest to do so.”

It’s no secret that many dealerships just aren’t as excited about electric cars as they should be, and the loser ends up being the consumer. You also typically can’t bring a Chevy Volt to a Nissan dealership and ask for a side-by-side comparison, though that’s exactly what the Electric Car Guest Drive let people do. Also on hand was the Fiat 500e, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, and yes, the much-vaunted Tesla Model S, which is setting the standard for how to sell electric vehicles on all fronts. .

Want in on it? Well it’s not too late to register, as the event runs through this weekend, with the final two events held in San Jose and Monterey. Hopefully this great idea spreads beyond California, or at least inspires salespeople to step up their game when it comes to selling EVs.

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