It can be difficult for dealerships to sell both electric cars and gas-powered vehicles at the same time since the strengths of one are often the weaknesses of the other. That’s partly why Tesla decided to bypass the dealership model and operate it.
Now Renault is going to try the same with its own electric car-only store in Europe.
The French automaker announced the initiative today. The first store, which they called a ‘Renault Electric Vehicle Experience Center’, will be open to the public on February 16 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Gilles Normand, Groupe Renault Senior Vice President of Electric Vehicles, commented on the announcement:
“We are delighted to be opening this store which will enable us to engage with people about electric mobility, help them to learn more about the subject and give them a chance to share their ideas. As Europe’s number one EV brand, we will be able to use this concept store to interact with the public and help people to understand the opportunities and benefits of electric motoring,”
Renault’s current electric vehicle lineup is fairly limited. It only consists of the Zoe, the Twinzy, and Kangaroo Z.E van, but the store could give us a glimpse at the future of auto retail.
They say that the store will also feature “an advanced digital experience, including an exclusive electric car configurator to enable customers to find the model that meets their everyday needs”.
Test drives will also be available on site.
Zakaria Zeghari, Europe Renault Dealer Network Development Director, added:
“We are responding to emerging customer expectations by opening new urban distribution channels and by harnessing digital tools to deliver a better customer experience. As Electric cars is the leading technology to provide sustainable mobility for all, Renault has brought these two challenges together under one roof by proposing a new approach of the Zero Emission range distribution, and opening the first Electrical Vehicle Experience Center in partnership with our major distributor in Sweden Bilia. Stockholm was on top of our list because of the fast Electric Vehicle market expansion in Sweden, and the strong willingness of Swedish government to promote this technology,”
Like Tesla’s strategy to establish stores where there’s a lot of foot traffic, Renault’s first EV store will be in Täby Centrum, one of Sweden’s largest shopping centres.