Porsche aims to reignite sales of the popular Cayenne crossover with a sportier coupe variant that will square off against the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the BMW X6.

The German automaker hopes to lure the sport-ute crowd and boost profitability with what it refers to as the “sportiest-looking model in the segment.”

Porsche Chairman Oliver Blume, in a statement Thursday, calls the Cayenne Coupe “more progressive, athletic, and emotional.”

The Cayenne Coupe is expected in U.S. showrooms this fall. It will start at $76,550, including $1,250 for shipping. The Cayenne Turbo Coupe will start at $131,350, including shipping. Both Cayenne Coupe models are priced higher than the standard Cayenne.

The Cayenne Coupe is a competitive response to similar coupe-crossovers from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. BMW created the coupe-crossover segment with the X6.

“These models have proven to be particularly popular in emerging luxury markets like China and the Middle East,” said AutoPacific analyst Ed Kim. “Porsche clearly hopes to gain volume by introducing a model in a growing segment.”

The midsize Cayenne was Porsche’s second best-selling model in the U.S. last year — behind the compact Macan — with sales 10,733 units. But U.S. sales of the Cayenne have dropped off since peaking at 18,507 in 2013, and Porsche faces more competition from new SUVs and crossovers from BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover and others.

The Cayenne Coupe features sharper lines with a redesigned rear section, adaptive rear spoiler, individual rear seats and either a panoramic fixed glass roof fitted as standard or an optional carbon fiber roof. The rear doors and quarter panels have been redesigned to broaden the shoulders of the vehicle. The license plate bracket is now part of the bumper and makes the vehicle look like it sits lower to the ground.

The Cayenne Coupe will be available with two high-performance engines. The standard model will feature a 3.0-liter mono-turbo V-6 engine capable of generating 335 hp and sprinting from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds.

The top-of-the-range Cayenne Turbo Coupe is equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, capable of 541 hp and a 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 3.7 seconds.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is losing its global head of powertrain development and a member of its top management circle at the end of April.

Bob Lee, a 41-year veteran of Chrysler, has been a member of the automaker’s highest decision-making body, which it calls the Group Executive Council, since 2011. Lee was unavailable for comment on his departure.

A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman confirmed Lee’s retirement and said the company doesn’t have an immediate announcement to make about his successor.

Lee is perhaps best known for leading the rebirth of FCA’s iconic Hemi V-8 engine in the early 2000s and later its Pentastar V-6 engine. In a company blog post published last month, he recounted the development and commercial success of that V-6 engine.

“Many of the people who helped make it happen are still here today — including me,” he wrote.

He leaves the automaker as it ramps up an electrification strategy in the face of tightening emissions regulations in Europe and China. The company has lobbied in support of the the Trump administration’s plan to reevaluate U.S. fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is losing its global head of powertrain development and a member of its top management circle at the end of April.

Bob Lee, a 41-year veteran of Chrysler, has been a member of the automaker’s highest decision-making body, which it calls the Group Executive Council, since 2011. Lee was unavailable for comment on his departure.

An FCA spokeswoman confirmed Lee’s retirement and said the company doesn’t have an immediate announcement to make about his successor.

Lee is perhaps best known for leading the rebirth of FCA’s iconic Hemi V-8 engine in the early 2000s and later its Pentastar V-6 engine. In a company blog post published last month, he recounted the development and commercial success of that V-6 engine.

“Many of the people who helped make it happen are still here today — including me,” he wrote.

He leaves the automaker as it ramps up an electrification strategy in the face of tightening emissions regulations in Europe and China. The company has lobbied in support of the the Trump administration’s plan to reevaluate U.S. fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

DETROIT — General Motors will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing an investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory.

The investment is valued at $300 million, according to two people familiar with the plans cited by Reuters.

The sources also said GM will announce plans for a new electric compact vehicle for Chevrolet, and the automaker will formally endorse the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

GM on Thursday said in a media advisory that it would announce news on Friday along with the UAW and local government officials at its factory in Orion Township, Mich. The company said only that it’s making “major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies” at the facility that builds fully electric Chevrolet Bolt cars. CEO Mary Barra is expected to attend, a company spokesman said.

GM would not comment on the Reuters report.

Jeff Schuster, a forecasting analyst at LMC Automotive expects GM to add up to four new EVs to the plant’s manufacturing mix over the next several years to make good on promises to electrify more of its lineup. “It’s essentially an all-electric story with an investment in EVs across several brands.”

Building an all-new electric vehicle in Orion would underscore GM’s gradual shift away from gasoline-fueled cars toward battery-powered models. The investment announcement will come at a time when the company is wrangling with the UAW and Trump over ending production at a car plant about a four-hour drive away in Lordstown, Ohio.

After lambasting GM on Twitter over the weekend, Trump held a rally Wednesday in Lima, Ohio, where he again told the carmaker to either reopen the factory or offload it to a company that will.

“Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it,” Trump said. “Get it going now.”

Trump lambasting 

GM’s plans for Orion may not be enough to appease Trump, whose lashing out is probably linked to efforts to keep Ohio voters in his corner for the 2020 election. But the investment it’s announcing Friday is expected to create new jobs or transfer opportunities for workers at plants including Lordstown — and another in the Hamtramck area near Detroit — that are scheduled to be idled or closed by early next year.

Trump has targeted GM for criticism ever since the company said it had no future product allocated to five North American plants — four of which are in the U.S. — and cut upwards of 14,000 jobs. Not all of those employees have been dismissed, with some having to move to plants in Michigan, Tennessee, or Texas to stay employed. GM already has relocated 1,000 of the 2,800 affected U.S. hourly workers to other plants, including 500 from Lordstown.

In anticipation of Trump’s visit to Ohio, GM sought the help of the Center for Automotive Research to help build a defense against the president’s barbs. A GM spokesman shared data compiled by the nonprofit researcher showing the carmaker invested about $21 billion in the U.S. since 1010, the year it after it emerged from bankruptcy. That was about a quarter of the total investment made by all automakers.

At the same time, GM has ramped up its operations in Mexico. Last year, the company imported almost 1 million vehicles into the U.S. from NAFTA neighbors, with most coming from Mexico. It’s now the leading U.S. importer of vehicles built south of the border.

In a move that may have amped up the pressure on GM to respond to Trump’s attacks, rival Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a $900 million investment planned for southeast Michigan facilities, the bulk of which will go to producing electric vehicles at a plant in Flat Rock, south of Detroit. That news landed hours before Trump started his rally in Ohio.

GM’s Orion plant builds the gasoline-powered Chevy Sonic subcompact and could continue to make conventional internal combustion engine cars, but the facility has tooling is in place to handle battery packs. It’s also allowed to delegate non-assembly work to lower-wage union workers.

Low capacity

The factory operates at only about 40 percent of production capacity, making it likely that GM will add a new EV to better utilize assembly lines, Schuster said. The factory is in close proximity to GM’s r&d center in Warren, Mich., which could help toward working out any kinks as it expands output of battery-powered cars.

“GM has already pledged that they have more EVs coming,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the labor and industry economics group at the Center for Automotive Research. “It makes sense to build it where they are already making EVs.”

GM announced in October 2017 that it planned to sell 20 fully electric vehicles by 2023 using a new battery platform that GM President Mark Reuss has said will enable the company to sell the cars at a profit.

Schuster expects GM to debut small Chevy and Buick crossover electric vehicles and two more EVs for its upscale Cadillac brand coming after 2022. The Chevy and Buick EVs could use the current Chevy Bolt drive system, and the Cadillacs may be built on GM’s next-generation plug-in system, he said.

“They will make them crossovers, which is what the consumer wants,” Schuster said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

DETROIT — General Motors will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing an investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory.

The investment is valued at $300 million, according to two people familiar with the plans cited by Reuters.

The sources also said GM will announce plans for a new electric compact vehicle for Chevrolet, and the automaker will formally endorse the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

GM on Thursday said in a media advisory that it would announce news on Friday along with the UAW and local government officials at its factory in Orion Township, Mich. The company said only that it’s making “major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies” at the facility that builds fully electric Chevrolet Bolt cars. CEO Mary Barra is expected to attend, a company spokesman said.

GM would not comment on the Reuters report.

Jeff Schuster, a forecasting analyst at LMC Automotive expects GM to add up to four new EVs to the plant’s manufacturing mix over the next several years to make good on promises to electrify more of its lineup. “It’s essentially an all-electric story with an investment in EVs across several brands.”

Building an all-new electric vehicle in Orion would underscore GM’s gradual shift away from gasoline-fueled cars toward battery-powered models. The investment announcement will come at a time when the company is wrangling with the UAW and Trump over ending production at a car plant about a four-hour drive away in Lordstown, Ohio.

After lambasting GM on Twitter over the weekend, Trump held a rally Wednesday in Lima, Ohio, where he again told the carmaker to either reopen the factory or offload it to a company that will.

“Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it,” Trump said. “Get it going now.”

Trump lambasting 

GM’s plans for Orion may not be enough to appease Trump, whose lashing out is probably linked to efforts to keep Ohio voters in his corner for the 2020 election. But the investment it’s announcing Friday is expected to create new jobs or transfer opportunities for workers at plants including Lordstown — and another in the Hamtramck area near Detroit — that are scheduled to be idled or closed by early next year.

Trump has targeted GM for criticism ever since the company said it had no future product allocated to five North American plants — four of which are in the U.S. — and cut upwards of 14,000 jobs. Not all of those employees have been dismissed, with some having to move to plants in Michigan, Tennessee, or Texas to stay employed. GM already has relocated 1,000 of the 2,800 affected U.S. hourly workers to other plants, including 500 from Lordstown.

In anticipation of Trump’s visit to Ohio, GM sought the help of the Center for Automotive Research to help build a defense against the president’s barbs. A GM spokesman shared data compiled by the nonprofit researcher showing the carmaker invested about $21 billion in the U.S. since 1010, the year it after it emerged from bankruptcy. That was about a quarter of the total investment made by all automakers.

At the same time, GM has ramped up its operations in Mexico. Last year, the company imported almost 1 million vehicles into the U.S. from NAFTA neighbors, with most coming from Mexico. It’s now the leading U.S. importer of vehicles built south of the border.

In a move that may have amped up the pressure on GM to respond to Trump’s attacks, rival Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a $900 million investment planned for southeast Michigan facilities, the bulk of which will go to producing electric vehicles at a plant in Flat Rock, south of Detroit. That news landed hours before Trump started his rally in Ohio.

GM’s Orion plant builds the gasoline-powered Chevy Sonic subcompact and could continue to make conventional internal combustion engine cars, but the facility has tooling is in place to handle battery packs. It’s also allowed to delegate non-assembly work to lower-wage union workers.

Low capacity

The factory operates at only about 40 percent of production capacity, making it likely that GM will add a new EV to better utilize assembly lines, Schuster said. The factory is in close proximity to GM’s r&d center in Warren, Mich., which could help toward working out any kinks as it expands output of battery-powered cars.

“GM has already pledged that they have more EVs coming,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the labor and industry economics group at the Center for Automotive Research. “It makes sense to build it where they are already making EVs.”

GM announced in October 2017 that it planned to sell 20 fully electric vehicles by 2023 using a new battery platform that GM President Mark Reuss has said will enable the company to sell the cars at a profit.

Schuster expects GM to debut small Chevy and Buick crossover electric vehicles and two more EVs for its upscale Cadillac brand coming after 2022. The Chevy and Buick EVs could use the current Chevy Bolt drive system, and the Cadillacs may be built on GM’s next-generation plug-in system, he said.

“They will make them crossovers, which is what the consumer wants,” Schuster said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

DETROIT — General Motors will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing an investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory.

GM said in a media advisory that it will announce news on Friday along with the UAW and local government officials at its factory in Orion Township, Mich. The company said only that it’s making “major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies” at the facility that builds fully electric Chevrolet Bolt cars. CEO Mary Barra is expected to attend, a company spokesman said.

“It’s probably an electric car,” said Jeff Schuster, a forecasting analyst at LMC Automotive who expects GM to add up to four new EVs to the plant’s manufacturing mix over the next several years to make good on promises to electrify more of its lineup. “It’s essentially an all-electric story with an investment in EVs across several brands.”

Building an all-new electric vehicle in Orion would underscore GM’s gradual shift away from gasoline-fueled cars toward battery-powered models. The investment announcement will come at a time when the company is wrangling with the UAW and Trump over ending production at a car plant about a four-hour drive away in Lordstown, Ohio.

After lambasting GM on Twitter over the weekend, Trump held a rally Wednesday in Lima, Ohio, where he again told the carmaker to either reopen the factory or offload it to a company that will.

“Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it,” Trump said. “Get it going now.”

Trump lambasting 

GM’s plans for Orion may not be enough to appease Trump, whose lashing out is probably linked to efforts to keep Ohio voters in his corner for the 2020 election. But the investment it’s announcing Friday is expected to create new jobs or transfer opportunities for workers at plants including Lordstown — and another in the Hamtramck area near Detroit — that are scheduled to be idled or closed by early next year.

Trump has targeted GM for criticism ever since the company said it had no future product allocated to five North American plants — four of which are in the U.S. — and cut upwards of 14,000 jobs. Not all of those employees have been dismissed, with some having to move to plants in Michigan, Tennessee, or Texas to stay employed. GM already has relocated 1,000 of the 2,800 affected U.S. hourly workers to other plants, including 500 from Lordstown.

In anticipation of Trump’s visit to Ohio, GM sought the help of the Center for Automotive Research to help build a defense against the president’s barbs. A GM spokesman shared data compiled by the nonprofit researcher showing the carmaker invested about $21 billion in the U.S. since 1010, the year it after it emerged from bankruptcy. That was about a quarter of the total investment made by all automakers.

At the same time, GM has ramped up its operations in Mexico. Last year, the company imported almost 1 million vehicles into the U.S. from NAFTA neighbors, with most coming from Mexico. It’s now the leading U.S. importer of vehicles built south of the border.

In a move that may have amped up the pressure on GM to respond to Trump’s attacks, rival Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a $900 million investment planned for southeast Michigan facilities, the bulk of which will go to producing electric vehicles at a plant in Flat Rock, south of Detroit. That news landed hours before Trump started his rally in Ohio.

GM’s Orion plant builds the gasoline-powered Chevy Sonic subcompact and could continue to make conventional internal combustion engine cars, but the facility has tooling is in place to handle battery packs. It’s also allowed to delegate non-assembly work to lower-wage union workers.

Low capacity

The factory operates at only about 40 percent of production capacity, making it likely that GM will add a new EV to better utilize assembly lines, Schuster said. The factory is in close proximity to GM’s r&d center in Warren, Mich., which could help toward working out any kinks as it expands output of battery-powered cars.

“GM has already pledged that they have more EVs coming,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the labor and industry economics group at the Center for Automotive Research. “It makes sense to build it where they are already making EVs.”

GM announced in October 2017 that it planned to sell 20 fully electric vehicles by 2023 using a new battery platform that GM President Mark Reuss has said will enable the company to sell the cars at a profit.

Schuster expects GM to debut small Chevy and Buick crossover electric vehicles and two more EVs for its upscale Cadillac brand coming after 2022. The Chevy and Buick EVs could use the current Chevy Bolt drive system, and the Cadillacs may be built on GM’s next-generation plug-in system, he said.

“They will make them crossovers, which is what the consumer wants,” Schuster said.

DETROIT — General Motors will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing an investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory.

GM said in a media advisory that it will announce news on Friday along with the UAW and local government officials at its factory in Orion Township, Mich. The company said only that it’s making “major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies” at the facility that builds fully electric Chevrolet Bolt cars. CEO Mary Barra is expected to attend, a company spokesman said.

“It’s probably an electric car,” said Jeff Schuster, a forecasting analyst at LMC Automotive who expects GM to add up to four new EVs to the plant’s manufacturing mix over the next several years to make good on promises to electrify more of its lineup. “It’s essentially an all-electric story with an investment in EVs across several brands.”

Building an all-new electric vehicle in Orion would underscore GM’s gradual shift away from gasoline-fueled cars toward battery-powered models. The investment announcement will come at a time when the company is wrangling with the UAW and Trump over ending production at a car plant about a four-hour drive away in Lordstown, Ohio.

After lambasting GM on Twitter over the weekend, Trump held a rally Wednesday in Lima, Ohio, where he again told the carmaker to either reopen the factory or offload it to a company that will.

“Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it,” Trump said. “Get it going now.”

Trump lambasting 

GM’s plans for Orion may not be enough to appease Trump, whose lashing out is probably linked to efforts to keep Ohio voters in his corner for the 2020 election. But the investment it’s announcing Friday is expected to create new jobs or transfer opportunities for workers at plants including Lordstown — and another in the Hamtramck area near Detroit — that are scheduled to be idled or closed by early next year.

Trump has targeted GM for criticism ever since the company said it had no future product allocated to five North American plants — four of which are in the U.S. — and cut upwards of 14,000 jobs. Not all of those employees have been dismissed, with some having to move to plants in Michigan, Tennessee, or Texas to stay employed. GM already has relocated 1,000 of the 2,800 affected U.S. hourly workers to other plants, including 500 from Lordstown.

In anticipation of Trump’s visit to Ohio, GM sought the help of the Center for Automotive Research to help build a defense against the president’s barbs. A GM spokesman shared data compiled by the nonprofit researcher showing the carmaker invested about $21 billion in the U.S. since 1010, the year it after it emerged from bankruptcy. That was about a quarter of the total investment made by all automakers.

At the same time, GM has ramped up its operations in Mexico. Last year, the company imported almost 1 million vehicles into the U.S. from NAFTA neighbors, with most coming from Mexico. It’s now the leading U.S. importer of vehicles built south of the border.

In a move that may have amped up the pressure on GM to respond to Trump’s attacks, rival Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a $900 million investment planned for southeast Michigan facilities, the bulk of which will go to producing electric vehicles at a plant in Flat Rock, south of Detroit. That news landed hours before Trump started his rally in Ohio.

GM’s Orion plant builds the gasoline-powered Chevy Sonic subcompact and could continue to make conventional internal combustion engine cars, but the facility has tooling is in place to handle battery packs. It’s also allowed to delegate non-assembly work to lower-wage union workers.

Low capacity

The factory operates at only about 40 percent of production capacity, making it likely that GM will add a new EV to better utilize assembly lines, Schuster said. The factory is in close proximity to GM’s r&d center in Warren, Mich., which could help toward working out any kinks as it expands output of battery-powered cars.

“GM has already pledged that they have more EVs coming,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the labor and industry economics group at the Center for Automotive Research. “It makes sense to build it where they are already making EVs.”

GM announced in October 2017 that it planned to sell 20 fully electric vehicles by 2023 using a new battery platform that GM President Mark Reuss has said will enable the company to sell the cars at a profit.

Schuster expects GM to debut small Chevy and Buick crossover electric vehicles and two more EVs for its upscale Cadillac brand coming after 2022. The Chevy and Buick EVs could use the current Chevy Bolt drive system, and the Cadillacs may be built on GM’s next-generation plug-in system, he said.

“They will make them crossovers, which is what the consumer wants,” Schuster said.

DETROIT — A plea hearing is scheduled next month for the highest-ranking UAW figure charged to date for taking part in a multiyear conspiracy to siphon millions of dollars used to train union members at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

According to The Detroit News, Jewell is expected to plead guilty and could face up to five years in prison.

Jewell was charged Monday with conspiracy to violate labor laws by receiving more than $40,000 worth of travel, lodging and meals from people acting on behalf of FCA from at least 2014 to 2016.

The plea hearing is slated for April 2 in federal court in Detroit, according to court records. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman has sentenced seven others to prison — three from FCA and four associated with the union — on charges related to the investigation.

Michael P. Manley, an attorney representing Jewell, confirmed his client’s plea hearing date but declined discuss further details.

Jewell, who abruptly retired at the end of 2017, was first implicated in the conspiracy scheme several months ago.

He headed the union’s FCA Department in June 2014, following the retirement of General Holiefield, who led the department from 2006 until his retirement. Holiefield, who died in 2015, and his wife, Monica Morgan, were key figures in the case.

Morgan was sentenced in July to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to a tax charge for hiding $201,000 from the government on her 2011 taxes.

The federal investigation was made public in July 2017. Prosecutors contended FCA employees and executives — led by former labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli — paid union officials via fake charities and other methods, using funds from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, to keep them “fat, dumb and happy.”

DETROIT — A plea hearing is scheduled next month for the highest-ranking UAW figure charged to date for taking part in a multiyear conspiracy to siphon millions of dollars used to train union members at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

According to The Detroit News, Jewell is expected to plead guilty and could face up to five years in prison.

Jewell was charged Monday with conspiracy to violate labor laws by receiving more than $40,000 worth of travel, lodging and meals from people acting on behalf of FCA from at least 2014 to 2016.

The plea hearing is slated for April 2 in federal court in Detroit, according to court records. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman has sentenced seven others to prison — three from FCA and four associated with the union — on charges related to the investigation.

Michael P. Manley, an attorney representing Jewell, confirmed his client’s plea hearing date but declined discuss further details.

Jewell, who abruptly retired at the end of 2017, was first implicated in the conspiracy scheme several months ago.

He headed the union’s FCA Department in June 2014, following the retirement of General Holiefield, who led the department from 2006 until his retirement. Holiefield, who died in 2015, and his wife, Monica Morgan, were key figures in the case.

Morgan was sentenced in July to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to a tax charge for hiding $201,000 from the government on her 2011 taxes.

The federal investigation was made public in July 2017. Prosecutors contended FCA employees and executives — led by former labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli — paid union officials via fake charities and other methods, using funds from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, to keep them “fat, dumb and happy.”

Automakers continue to put more electric and electrified vehicles on the market, and the conventional wisdom (not true, by the way) is that no one is buying them. It’s more accurate to say no one is selling them.

Really selling them, that is.

It’s no small thing to get consumers to understand, let alone embrace, a new and peculiar type of automobile. And cost will continue to be an obstacle for at least the near term. But a little more good-faith effort would help get the market moving, and could even generate some revenue. Here are 12 things automakers and dealers can do to show some of that effort.


Advertise.
Even in the era of digital marketing, consumers usually need to spend some time at the top of the sales funnel. It starts with awareness. And yet creative, informative marketing for individual EV models — or even the idea of EVs — has been largely absent from the airwaves. Innovation can be a powerful marketing hook, if you give it a chance. Word-of-mouth campaigns by early adopters aren’t enough to support the coming wave of product.


Sell them in my state (if the law allows it).
Nothing says compliance car like “limited availability.” Selling cars on the coasts will get you the ZEV credits, but manufacturers that really believe in the merits of EVs (you’re excused, FCA) need to recognize that people around the country are interested in clean transportation and deserve a chance to explore EVs. Consumers need to see more of them on the road (along with more charging stations) to believe in their viability. Dealers everywhere need to have them on their lots to understand the future of their business. On that note …


Educate dealers and sales staff.
The early adopters of EVs came to the dealership at least as informed as the sales staff. That’s not going to be the case much longer. If automakers’ hopes for EVs are to come true, sales associates will have to be able to walk customers through a battery cycle, and be prepared for questions about the capabilities, and limitations, of the vehicle. They should also be prepared to explain charging options, including manufacturers’ deals with third-party charging networks. Don’t put a half-trained amateur — or a slinger of IEEE jargon, for that matter — in front of the customer. Hire an EV expert who can communicate with me clearly.


Offer me a test drive.
Not just at the dealership, but every chance you get. Set up booths at auto shows, grocery stores and state fairs where I can experience an EV’s torque and quiet acceleration, and practice one-pedal driving. These are the unique attributes of electric powertrains that most surprise and delight drivers.


Don’t pitch me on range.
The range rating of an EV is the headline stat and a handy metric to describe how far we’ve come in EV development, but it’s not as reliable in describing how far you can go. While we’re on the cusp of EVs that can travel about as far as you’d want to go without an overnight break, weather and other factors still cause huge fluctuations. Range is a promise that can’t always be kept. So instead …


Talk to me about lifestyle.
Just like a pickup, sport coupe or Winnebago, today’s EVs can be perfect for some people and situations, and impractical for others. A good salesperson should ask me the right questions to determine whether I fit the appropriate user profile and usage patterns: multiple short trips in a day, for example, or a predictable daily commute.


Sell me another vehicle.
The knock on EVs is that they require people to own a second car for longer trips. That’s only partly true. I might want another car for long-distance trips, but I may not need to own it, as long as a manufacturer or dealer is willing to offer me ready access to a car when I need it. So along with my EV, offer me a white-glove car-share membership or a subscription-based rental plan as an add-on.


Sell me peace of mind.
Can’t talk about EVs without talking about range anxiety, and even with route-planning apps and nav system aids, anxiety is a tough problem to solve without medication. So offer me an added layer of assurance, a guarantee of EV-specific roadside assistance if I need it. The help doesn’t have to be free, but it should be available and meaningful.

Talk to me about home charging. All those consumers preoccupied with the state of public charging infrastructure before even considering an EV may be overlooking the electrical infrastructure they already have in their homes, the one that can top up their cars overnight and give them a “full tank” every morning. It may just need upgraded circuits and wiring to support faster charging. If only dealers could help with that …


Help me with home charging.
EV charging equipment for the home should be in the parts catalog at every dealership. But dealers can do more by partnering with local contractors to offer me a one-stop package that includes equipment, installation and a maintenance contract, and with local utilities to manage incentives and metering issues. At the right price, the margins on these add-ons would help make up for what dealers lose on oil changes and exhaust work.


Be honest about energy sources.
An inconvenient truth about EVs is that in some parts of the country, the electricity that powers them is generated from fossil fuels. Consumers should understand that tradeoff, and feel comfortable with the choice, or at least as comfortable as they are with burning gasoline or diesel by the gallon.

Introduce me to the community. Several of these pointers were offered to me generously by members of the Chevy Bolt EV Owners Club on Facebook. (Yes, I’m already sold.) This group is for registered EV owners only, but many others like it are available to prospective owners as well to field questions and address doubts. Automakers and dealers, too, should be interacting with these forums to better understand the EV customer base and figure out how to improve their products, services and sales pitches.