Ford Expands EV Offering by Certifying 900 Dealers

By · February 08, 2013

Focus Electric

When the Ford Focus Electric launched last summer, only 67 Ford dealers across the nation were certified to sell the company's plug-in vehicle. By November, that number surpassed 200. Ford now says the number of EV Certified dealers will exceed 900 by Spring.

Ford has been repeatedly criticized for promoting the availability of its plug-in cars, but not supporting its EV efforts at the dealership level. Local dealerships, even in markets where EVs are popular, have not been informed about plug-in cars. Sales staff has not been ready to demonstrate and sell the vehicles. This announcement from Ford about the growth of certified dealers suggest that the company is getting better prepared.

What's involved in the certification process? Here are the basics listed by Ford: "Certification means the dealerships have met the automaker’s guidelines for dealers selling electric vehicles—including installation of at least two on-site charging stations (one in the service area and the other located in the customer area) and participation in highly specialized training in the field of electric vehicles."

In addition, a minimum of one Focus Electric and one C-Max Energi must be on site at all times. EV Certified dealers are the only Ford dealerships allowed to sell plug-in vehicles.

Ford also announced that it expects its three plug-in vehicles—the Focus Electric, C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi—will become available in all 50 states within the next few months.

Ford claims the increase in EV Certified dealers is a result of "increased demand for the company’s electrified vehicles."

Comments

· · 1 year ago

One thing that would Increase many people's acceptance of electric cars is if there was a standardized GENEROUS procedure regarding level II charging.. If Ford would insist ANYONE can use the 30 amp level 2 docking station in the customer area, then people who have one ev already would feel invited to use the Dock when possibly considering a Ford product.

Nissan dropped the ball on this slightly by not insisting on what their most generous dealers are already doing, namely: Allow anyone anywhere with any brand ev to charge up at their 24/7 charging docs. The parsimonious dealers (you can only charge during the day, and only if you bought the car from 'us') are creating ill will more than the Good Will the more philanthropic dealers are generating.

· · 1 year ago

Bill,

Exchange "philanthropic dealers" for "forward-looking dealers" and I would agree with your post 100%. However, automakers may not have the policy influence with dealers that you and I imagine that they should. Requiring the chargers to be installed is straight forward - requiring them to be in good working order, available 24/7, and available on a non-discriminatory basis is another level altogether.

· · 1 year ago

@ Bill

Thanks for your kind words on that other post. Do you know if the Nissan dealers charge you to plug in. I agree with what your saying you normally pay a fair amount of money to buy a car so letting you charge for what may well be not that much more than the cost of a cup of coffee makes good business sense.

Plus I can't see it being abused that much it's not as if people will leave their car for hours while they wander off to do their shopping. Most car dealerships I know tend to be concentrated in certain areas that aren't that close to city centres, shopping malls and the like where you might want to go.

· · 1 year ago

@Mike I & Deckard

Hi Guys..... Well Mike, the biggest thing dealers in general are 'up in arms' with (if the just concluded Convention in Florida of the NADA (National Automobile Dealer's Association) is to be believed is forcing the dealer to make infrastructure improvements, whether the individual deal wants to or not..Most of the time the dealers are forced to spend hundreds of thousands in what is their view a needless remodel. This is why all Chevrolet dealers look the same, and its pretty ugly if you ask me anyway After the Remodel.. The current policy Nissan has is a minimum of 2 rebranded Aerovironment chargers, one for the service bay, and one in a public area, but then, some dealers are saying they can only be used for a Leaf, and others are adding the further restriction that you have to have bought the car there, plus only have them on 9am to 5 pm (they turn them off when the dealership closes). .

The Nissan dealership near me went beyond what was required, installing three docking stations in the parking lots and also allows ANYONE to charge up. This policy costs the dealership very very little, since how many pennies are actually going to be paid by the dealership compared to the GOODWILL generated.

In keeping with the Ford Focus point of this article, one good thing Ford is doing is paying the dealership up to $750,000.00 one-for-one match on remodeling costs.

· · 1 year ago

Sorry, forgot to answer the basic question. Yes, they are totally free (the aerovironment units installed that I've seen here in Western New York don't even have the ability to charge money), IF dealer policy allows you there...

The one by me allows anyone to freely charge no matter what brand car you have, and supposedly as often as you'd like to.

If the corporation can dictate Million Dollar improvements for needless remodeling (which has almost started a Universal Dealer Revolt, since the remodel hasn't resulted in increased sales), then they could insist on a Corporate Policy toward charging, which would in my view be gladly agreed to by the dealership since it would only cost them pennies. The dealers are more upset by being told what colour tile to be used in the washrooms, and what colour tile to have on the showroom floor and service bay floors.

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