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Electric vehicle training: Ensuring your retailers are ready

As battery technology accelerates from an emerging trend to a major player in the automotive industry, organisations are immersed in the widespread changes brought by electric vehicles. Having prepared your organisation for electric vehicles, you now need to support your retailers with electric vehicle training. This blog, written by LEO Learning Account Director, Sophie Miller, examines how to successfully achieve this.

With the number of electric vehicles on the road worldwide expected to reach 20 million by 2020, the implications of electrification for automotive businesses and their learning programmes are significant. Electric vehicle training will soon become the new normal.

Industries such as the aviation sector are also about to be highly affected by electrification. This type of transformational change is rapid, so succeeding (and thriving) in this environment requires preparing your people for the future.

A photo of a car being charged as part of electric vehicle training

For automotive organisations, that future will depend on your ability to support your workforces, evolve at speed and provide the right kind of electric vehicle training in response to this disruption.

For example, mechanics who may have spent their entire careers working with traditional engines will need to learn how to work safely with high-voltage electric batteries. In some cases, they may need to be convinced of the benefits of taking this training and learning new skills.

All industries go through change, and the deciding factor for business success is being ready to react and stay ahead of the curve.

Aligning your people through electric vehicle training

At LEO Learning, we have a tried-and-tested methodology to align your people with the challenges of tomorrow. In order to create lasting behaviour change and familiarise learners with the shifting landscape, our electric vehicle training programmes embed change as the norm.

Where to start? Begin by engaging your employees through a blend of learning, building and maintaining their initial interest in and excitement about electrification.

From there, your introductory electric vehicle training material should help them to understand and feel a part of your learning strategy going into this new era, as well as your brand values and culture of learning.

It’s important to start with the fundamentals. Explain the three types of electric vehicles – hybrid, plug-in and battery – and illustrate some of the motivations customers might have for making a purchase. These can include environmental concerns, tax benefits and early technology adoption.

Electric vehicle training should have a sleek, modern design, as well as content that  stimulates and surprises learners. For example, one set of courses we created for a global automotive organisation looked at myths around electrification. The courses also gave learners the opportunity to take part in highly realistic selling scenarios.

Telling people about the battery ranges of vehicles, for instance, might come across as a dry topic on paper. But it’s one of the top customer anxieties when it comes to buying an electric car.

A quick visual comparison, followed by the chance to decide which option would be best for different types of customers, is much more likely to make your retailers remember and think critically about the options available to them and your customers.

A photo of a mechanic looking at a tablet device next to a car as part of electric vehicle training

Preparing employees for the future

The next part of your approach to electric vehicle training should be to ensure you have performance-ready, knowledgeable employees.

With the requirements of professionals at all levels shifting substantially, this is a challenge that needs to be approached diligently and creatively.

If we think of a Head of Business at a franchise, for example, we can envisage the wide range of new responsibilities and learning needs they might have as part of vehicle electrification.

To create effective customer journeys, their processes will need to adapt to serve customers who enquire online or at retailers who do not currently sell electric vehicles.

They will also need to ensure that their teams can reassure and support customers at every stage of the sale, including acting as trusted advisors on home charging, installation, safety and technical specifications.

Want to deliver exceptional experiences that delight and inspire loyalty among customers? Then you need to make sure that every member of your extended enterprise is equipped with the knowledge to become advocates for your vehicle electrification offer.

We have consistently found that the ability to provide elegant, clear and concise electric vehicle training courses is integral to creating a confident team and driving long-term success.

It’s also important to focus on creating behaviour change that makes an impact. This can be achieved by encouraging learners to collaborate with each other and support the customer qualification process, for example.

A photo of a view above a city and motorway at night as part of electric vehicle training LEO Learning

Sustaining engagement with electric vehicle training

As many training managers and business leaders know, today’s learning is an ongoing opportunity for employees to build their knowledge and grow with their organisation.

When we worked on creating courses around the I-Pace, Jaguar Land Rover’s first all-electric performance SUV, the powerful technology and stunning look of the vehicle provided a focal point for continuous learning.

With the help of an eye-catching learner retail app, people can discover more about the brand philosophy, explore in detail why buyers are drawn to the I-Pace and much more.

In just a few clicks, learners can explore a wide range of customer topics they might need to refer to, from key points such as safety to more complicated aspects around the performance of the electric motor.

A photo of a Jaguar I Pace car driving through a desert as part of electric vehicle training

Getting electric vehicle training right

With media coverage reporting rapid development of electrification technologies every week, it’s no wonder that the public are fascinated by this seismic development for the automotive industry. For example, Volvo recently announced that all its new cars would be battery-operated from 2019, while the French and UK governments intend to ban internal combustion engines by 2040.

While the world watches the electric vehicle space in anticipation, there’s no doubt that the flexible, impactful use of learning technologies will be crucial to organisations looking to meet fast-changing business, customer and learning goals.

Our approach entails working with businesses to bring together these components and our experience. This enables us to meet the different needs retail learners have throughout the stages of becoming experts in electrification.

The clamour for electric vehicles is making widespread adoption a reality in the near-future – one we’ll see in 2025 if not sooner – in which one in six cars sold will be electric.

For automotive companies that act now, the chance has never been greater to capitalise on this booming market and position themselves as electric vehicle leaders for decades to come.

Are your retailers ready for electric vehicles? Do you have the right people and skills ready to embrace the future? Get in touch today to speak to one of our experts about electric vehicle training and how to thrive in the electric vehicle revolution.

If you found this interesting, you might also want to download our free ebook, ‘Thriving in times of uncertainty: driving automotive industry learning forward’.