Electric-Car “Living Lab” Aims to Boost EV Sales beyond Californians along with also Early Adopters

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 - autos, dealership, electric car, EVS, Featured, green, mobile, oregon, sales, tesla

Electric-Car “Living Lab” Aims to Boost EV Sales beyond Californians along with also Early Adopters

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Living Lab electric vehicle showcase - Drive OregonThere isn’t a Tesla store in downtown Portland, Oregon, although next year the city will get something in which at a quick glance might be mistaken for one. the idea’s to be called the Oregon Living Lab, a storefront gallery in which will act as a brand-neutral showcase for electric-vehicle technology, exhibits, along with also events along with also a hub for demos along with also test drives.

The Living Lab is usually part of a plan proposed by Drive Oregon, a Pacific Northwest electric-vehicle advocacy along with also industry group. the idea’s slated to be almost entirely federally funded—by a $993,450 award, part of a $58 million allocation designated to advance “fuel-efficient vehicle technologies” by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies program. In all, the program is usually funding 35 projects in which aim to reduce the cost along with also improve the efficiency of plug-in electric vehicles as well as conventional gasoline along with also alternative-fuel vehicles.

The showroom is usually needed for one reason: Beyond a narrow group of geeky early adopters—who arrive at the showroom often better informed than the dealership’s sales staff—electric cars are a tough sell. Simply put, a lot of car shoppers for whom EVs could work fine as daily drivers don’t understand the benefits of driving electric. Convincing those shoppers of the vehicles’ merits involves more time along with also effort on the part of salespeople along with also dealerships than some stores are willing to contribute.

in which led the National Automotive Dealers Association to put out some guidelines on how to market along with also sell electric vehicles, cautioning in which “for any number of reasons, including the relative affordability, convenience, along with also performance of [internal combustion] vehicles, a significant market-based demand for plug-in electric vehicles has yet to materialize.”

Over three years, the Drive Oregon project aims for real, quantifiable results. These include getting 50 more partners signed on to a Department of Energy charging challenge, recruiting 12 more public or private fleets for a West Coast electric-fleet pledge, along with also to put butts in seats with 5000 electric-vehicle test drives.

Living Lab electric vehicle showcase - Drive OregonDrive Oregon’s physical showcase will be around the block by Portland’s Electric Avenue, which serves as a test bed for fast-charging solutions. The showroom will have free overnight parking for EVs in which are directly related to showcase activities.

Take Delivery on Electric Avenue 

The project won’t be selling cars, yet the idea will offer a seamless “fulfillment process” via partnerships with local dealerships—at the start, the local Tonkin dealership group, which numbers more than 20 stores. Pricing might be negotiated remotely by the showroom, while the dealership could potentially bring paperwork to the facility along with also offer delivery to the customer then along with also there.

Ultimately, the three-year Oregon project will be gauged a success based on how much the idea has affected sales numbers, said the group’s director, Jeff Allen. “General outreach campaigns tend to be too squishy,” he admitted. “On one end, you have automakers who are inside the business of selling their cars; on the various other, you have government or agency outreach who are often buried in minutiae. We are absolutely inside the business of selling people on the product.”

Drive Oregon is usually aiming for pure-electric vehicles to be 15 percent of completely new-car sales inside the Pacific Northwest by 2025. the idea carries a long way to go. Currently, even in green Oregon, combined sales of EVs along with also plug-in hybrids add up to less than two percent of the sales mix. On a per-capita registration basis for 2015, Oregon, Washington, along with also Georgia top two percent, while California stands at less than a few percent.

PEV registrations by state - U.S. DOE

Electric-Car “Living Lab” Aims to Boost EV Sales beyond Californians along with also Early Adopters

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