A new start-up in Toronto wants to expand the Tesla “direct to customer” sales model to include all electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid cars in most world markets. EVEN Electric says it will not be a captive of any one manufacturer. Instead, it will offer new and used electrified vehicles from several manufacturers. The plan is to have centralized processing centers in many countries. Once a customer selects an EV, it will be shipped to an EVEN Electric Customer Center near the customer. The buyer can either pick up the car there or have it delivered straight to its new home by EVEN Electric personnel.
“The traditional dealership model has proven unable to deliver the sales and service experience that EV owners want and need,” said Mike Elwood, CEO of the new Canada-based venture. “Our EVEN model was developed to combine the best aspects of both an online and in-store retail experience to make it easy for EV customers to find and acquire exactly what they want, when and where they want it.”
“Moving from dealership to dealership to shop one car at a time is simply an outdated process. EVEN has created an entirely new distribution model — one that is enabled by technology to offer customers an unprecedented level of choice and convenience,” said John Gordon, EVEN’s COO. “At the same time, EVEN will significantly lower costs across the entire supply chain by optimizing the flow of EVs directly to the global markets when and where they’re needed.”
Elwood says the company is basing its business model on a 2013-2014 pilot project in Iceland. In that trial, 100 EV cars were sold quickly and 200 orders went unmet. He says the orders couldn’t be filled because some manufacturers wouldn’t ship their cars to a place where they couldn’t be serviced. Elwood says they solved that problem by launching their own service model, which they intend to do with EVEN as well.
Already the company has signed licenses with an operator in Panama. Iceland continues to operate and EVEN has its sights set on breaking ground in the US, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden and several parts of Canada with others coming soon.
Microsoft is supporting EVEN Electric with custom designed software. It will make it possible for customers to learn about the cars for sale, compare vehicles, sort through inventories of available vehicles, and place their purchase orders online.
The concept is intriguing — one stop shopping with no hassles. We don’t know how well the system will work in the US, where entrenched dealer networks are bitterly opposed to direct sales models. But most European and other nations do not have such restrictive dealer laws. Still, it will be interesting to see if EVEN Electric succeeds with its ambitious program. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Source: Electric Cars Report