“It is extremely positive to see the progress that franchised retailers are making on the road to a zero-emission vehicle market despite the challenges facing the sector, in particular, surrounding supply”, Said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the anniversary of the Government’s Road to Zero.
A year ago, on 9 July 2018, the Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) published its Road to Zero strategy. The document defined how the government would ‘support the transition to zero emission road transport and reduce emissions from conventional vehicles’. In Road to Zero, the Government highlighted the issues of lack of consumer confidence and businesses’ expertise in the EV sector.
In October, the Select Committee Report ‘Electric Vehicles – Driving the Transition’ outlined that Government and business should ‘work together to develop a clearer joint plan to help companies repurpose ICE manufacturing facilities, to help workers develop new EV skills, and to ensure that independent dealerships and mechanics are equipped to advise on buyers on EV options and to conduct repairs safely’.
As a result of this commitment and to address potential causes of concern, NFDA launched the Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme in May. The scheme provides an accreditation for electric vehicle retailers who meet specific standards. EVA has been endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
The launch of the scheme took place after a successful three-month pilot phase. Retailers who meet the standards can now apply to be independently audited by EST. Upon a successful audit report, retailers receive the EVA accreditation.
Retailers are showing huge appetite to gain their EVA accreditation and the 100 slots available for the EVA scheme are filling up quickly. Retailers who are interested in joining EVA are advised to contact NFDA soon.
Robinson added, “The development of NFDA’s Electric Vehicle Approved scheme is testament to the efforts that the Government and the automotive industry have been devoting to facilitate the transition to alternatively fuelled vehicles.
“The EVA accreditation has been put in place to help franchised retailers communicate their knowledge to consumers, who, in turn, will know the retailers they are dealing with are expert in the electric vehicle sector.
“It is encouraging to see the positive outcome of this joint work between the Government and the automotive industry. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government to further develop EVA and explore other avenues for collaboration”.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.