Prospective car buyers told electric vehicles would ‘ruin’ them financially, researchers found

Sales of electric vehicles are not as high as they could be due to poor practice at car dealerships across Europe, a new study has revealed.

Because most consumers do not have pre-existing knowledge of electric vehicles, car dealership experiences can strongly influence purchasing decisions, researchers from the University of Sussex and the University of Aarhus, in Denmark, found.

The researchers used mystery shopper experiences to investigate how dealerships approach selling EVs. In one dealership, a shopper was told not to purchase a particular EV because it will “ruin you financially” while another was told an electric vehicle “only goes 80 km”.

In an article for science journal Nature Energy, the academics who carried out the research said that, based on 126 shopping experiences at 82 different dealerships in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, “dealers were dismissive of EVs, misinformed shoppers on vehicle specifications, omitted EVs from the sales conversation and strongly oriented customers towards petrol and diesel vehicle options”.

Read more: Independent