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21 May 2022

Kildare garage announced as National EV Dealer of the Year at SEAI Energy Show 2022

Kildare garage announced as National EV Dealer of the Year at SEAI Energy Show 2022

Pic Supplied: Declan Meally, Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport at SEAI and Sean Lyons, CEO Fitzpatrick’s Garage

A Kildare-based garage has been announced as the National Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealer of the Year at the inaugural Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Show 2022.

Fitzpatrick's Garage in Kildare have been awarded the national winner of the competition, which recognises dealerships that are working to increase consumers’ understanding about EVs and their uptake.

The winner was announced at the SEAI Energy Show, Ireland's leading business-to-business sustainable energy event, which returned live to the RDS after a two-year absence.

This year’s Energy Show has 120 exhibitors and over 3,000 people are expected to attend, illustrating the interest by the business community in this event.

Declan Meally, Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport at SEAI and Sean Lyons, CEO Fitzpatrick’s Garage

Declan Meally, Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport at SEAI, also commented on the EV Dealership Awards.

He said: "We want to congratulate Fitzpatrick’s Garage on winning the National EV Dealership Award at the SEAI’s Energy Show: the commitment and dedication of this year’s winners is hugely inspiring. With 116 entrants across 25 counties, it’s great to see dealerships embracing the awards in such large numbers. SEAI recognises that car dealerships and their staff are a key set of enablers to EV uptake.

"These new SEAI Dealership Awards provide additional incentives to build competence in the supply chain and help to improve the overall public customer experience," Mr Meally added.

SEAI is also today launching their Electric Vehicle Mystery Shopping report: this study investigated the customer experience at EV dealerships in Ireland.

Key findings found that advice from dealerships is an influential factor in consumers purchasing decision-making process for EV’s.

The research showed that:

  • Overall, 67 per cent reported that they were satisfied with the service.
  • 57 per cent of salespeople spontaneously mentioned EVs as an option in response to queries about buying a new car
  • After declaring an interest in buying an EV, then 75 per cent of salespeople ultimately recommended an EV as the customer’s best option 

The research also indicates that government incentives, such as the SEAI EV grant and the SEAI home charger grant are determining factors in persuading consumers that EVs are the best option for them.

Mr Meally added: "The findings show an overall good performance and knowledge of EVs among dealerships but there is room for improvement. Electric vehicles are set to play an important role in the Governments Climate Action Plan towards decarbonising our transport sector, along with promoting more active travel.

Declan Meally and Natasha Hogan, Fitzpatrick’s Garage

"Car dealership knowledge can be built through actions such as providing additional training and using the SEAI EV cost comparator."

A spokesperson for the SEAI also said: "Electric vehicles are not only better for the environment but are also more than 70 per cent cheaper to run and are suitable for even the longest Irish journeys.

"Visit the SEAI website here to find out more about the grants available and use our EV comparison tool to help you with switching to electric."

The group also offered some tips below for consumers around what to expect and what to ask from a dealer when shopping for an EV:

  • Discuss your driving requirements with the dealer – do you regularly do long trips or are most of your trips short
  • Discuss the battery size and your requirements
  • Does the vehicle have an on-board charger?
  • If buying second-hand, ask about the service history?
  • Ask about the cost-savings - it is worth looking at the running costs as well as the purchase price.

The SEAI is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Read more Kildare business news here

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