Plug In America trains dealers to better serve EV customers


As we continue striving for greater electric vehicle (EV) adoption, a key component is the auto dealership that sells or leases the vehicles. While dealers are great at explaining the specific features of the vehicles, they can’t always answer consumers’ questions about charging, incentives, electricity rates, and other aspects of EV ownership. Plug In America’s PlugStar EV dealer training and certification program bridges that gap by providing dealers with the tools to make EV sales easier for consumers and dealers.

At each training session, salespeople from various area dealers attend a three-hour training, led by Plug In America staff. They leave with a better understanding of EV basics, federal and regional incentives, EV charging at home and on the go, used EVs, and a tour of PlugStar’s online resources. We also offer a supplemental one-hour, in-dealer training to provide a dealership’s entire staff with basic facts regarding EVs.

A dealership will be granted bronze-level certification by:

  • completing the PlugStar EV specialist training, 
  • having two trained PlugStar EV specialists on staff, and 
  • agreeing to support local ride and drive events with vehicles and staff. 

They can achieve up to a gold-level certification by meeting additional criteria, including having staff that drive EVs daily or having EVs on display in their showroom.

Dealers that participated in the first PlugStar pilot program in San Diego saw an increase in EV sales compared to dealers in the area that did not participate, while participants in Boston, Los Angeles, and Sacramento reported greater confidence on EV topics by 20–30%.

Since 2016, PlugStar has trained 258 auto salespeople in Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and St. Louis, with more EV dealer programs to come in other cities across the country. 

Not only is the dealership program beneficial for dealers, but it provides for a great customer experience. When shoppers visit a PlugStar-certified dealer, they can have confidence that the dealer can answer their questions and provide quality customer service. In addition, customers of PlugStar dealers receive six months of unlimited access to the Plug In America’s EV Support Program, where they receive phone, email, and online support from Plug In America staff before, during, and after the sale.

To PlugStar-certified dealers in your area, visit

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