Here at CrossCheck, we have been “all eyes and ears” in recent years over news about electric cars because our primary customer base is new car dealerships. Since we maintain an active dialogue with dealerships, we are well aware that CrossCheck and dealerships are fielding a lot questions about how we see the future of electric vehicles (EVs). Consequently, we thought it would be helpful to share a few opinions about how EVs will unfold over the next few years.
First, we pay close attention to the developments in this space, which is obviously critical to our business. Second, we want to “think like a customer” – our dealer merchants – and the dealers want to think like their customers – the car-buying consumers.
When you run a new car store, consumers will ask your salespeople if they should buy an electric car. Your salespeople will ask you, as the owner or manager of the store, what to tell them. Is now a good time to buy an electric car, or should they wait a while, and what are the pros and cons of an electric car versus a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE)? If you can’t answer these questions, the consumer will go down the street to find someone who can and will.
Expert Opinions About the Future of Electric Cars
Consumers are bombarded with marketing materials about electric cars. Here is a typical expert comment: “Automakers know that it’s no longer a question of when internal combustion engine cars will be replaced by electric vehicles, but how quickly the changeover will take place.”
Or, “Timeline projections differ, but many analysts and executives believe that electric cars will become comparable or cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by the mid-2020s and most agree that EVs will outsell conventional ones by 2030 or the mid-2030s.”
So there you have it: electric cars will dominate the market in the near future, just not today. Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular with each passing year.
But then this week came an announcement from Dyson, that they were abandoning their electric car project.
“The Dyson automotive team has developed a fantastic car,” said James Dyson. “However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.”
Dyson had around 600 people working on their electric car project for a number of years, so this was a very strong and dedicated effort.
How Electric Cars Might Impact Dealerships
How widespread electric car adoption will be is important to our dealers. EVs have fewer parts and need less service than a car with an internal combustion engine. Ultimately, this could affect the number of employees at your store, your margins, and even how many dealers will be economically viable in your region.
It seems logical that some consumers will use an EV as a second car for local trips. People living in cities and urban areas will like what electric cars have to offer. If your store is in a big city where consumers just use their car for driving around the city, this would make sense for them. But will this translate into nationwide success?
Dealership Opinions about the Future of Electric Cars
Here are some of the points about electric cars that our dealership merchants have made in talking to us.
Undoubtedly, while there will be advances in battery technology, the primary form of vehicle power for the near future will be the ICE. Here’s why.
First, Americans drive a lot and long distances too. It is unlikely that, with the limited range of today’s EV’s, they are going to plan their trip around where charging stations are located, and how long it will take to charge.
Second, according to a dealer in Minneapolis, many Americans live in places that have severe winter temperatures. In frigid temperatures, the EV’s range is reduced by half.
Third, electric vehicles are more expensive to produce, so many consumers will not be able to afford them.
Most of the industry people we speak with say that the ICE will continue to be the dominant form of vehicle power for the next 10 years, at least. I wouldn’t want to make any predictions beyond 10 years.
Research and Develop of Electric Cars
Detroit and the international car industry is devoting billions of dollars to R&D right now to perfect an EV. And the auto industry is a big market: last year worldwide vehicle sales were 81.8 million, with an additional 4.2 million light commercial vehicles sold. U.S. dealers sold 17.3 million vehicles, a huge number, but much less than the Chinese domestic market, with sales of 28.1 million!
Our dealers tell us that there is another factor at work here: the ever-increasing price of the average new car, now north of $35,000. Electric cars will be more expensive than ICE powered cars, and the price difference will be significant. This will also impact conversion rates.
How CrossCheck Helps Dealerships Sell More Cars
Regardless of the mix of ICE and EV powered vehicles that our dealers sell, they know one thing for sure: CrossCheck is a vital business partner that is needed to sell more cars. Dealerships rely on us to assume the risk of a failed payment, particularly when the check is north of a thousand dollars. Dealerships need us to help the consumer over the hump when they don’t have enough money in their checking account today to cover a down payment or an expensive repair. Finally, they need us to lower the cost of transaction processing, and to improve the back office workflow.
Regardless of the motivational power of a dealer’s quality products, CrossCheck provides some motivation of its own – the power to help finalize a sale that might not otherwise happen. We stand at point of sale and guarantee a high dollar payment to be made today or a stream of payments to be made in the future. To our dealers, we say, “‘More power to you’ to build and grow your business.” They need us to make a sale happen and to manage the risk of a failed payment.
Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) is the fastest way to process guaranteed checks while the Multiple Check option (a future deposit function) gives car buyers a little extra time to pay for down payments.
Download our free guide to learn how RDC with Multiple Check can help your dealership increase sales and mitigate risk while saving time and money.