General

Colorado car dealer group opens EV, hybrid outlet and sees sales surge

Colorado car dealer group opens EV, hybrid outlet and sees sales surge

Phil Long EV Outlet has sold 117 electric and hybrid vehicles from May 2021 to the end of the year and 56 such vehicles in the first three months of 2022. It is only a small fraction of the company’s total sales. Phil Long Dealerships of Colorado Springs is at No. 95 on Automotive News‘ list of the 150 largest dealer groups based in the US, with retail sales of 10,801 new vehicles in 2021. The group sold 12,070 used vehicles last year.

Buckles said Phil Long EV Outlet isn’t just a one-stop shop for customers looking for EVs; it has also become a place where EV drivers can charge their vehicles for 20 cents per kilowatt hour. The lot contains 10 EV chargers, including four fast chargers.

At the store, those customers — some who find the chargers via sat navs and alight near I-25 — can grab a drink and relax, Buckles and Shaughnessy said.

“We built it differently than a traditional used car dealership,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s built more like a communal lounge. It’s intended as a place where customers can park, charge their car [and] hang out.”

The store held an Earth Day-focused event last month that Phil Long leaders planned to give community members test drives in EVs and more information about charging. The goal was that more information and exposure to EVs could eventually lead shoppers to the store.

Buckles, who also oversees a nearby Kia dealer for the group, said Phil Long EV Outlet has three sales specialists and a sales manager. Service is available at the Kia dealer, he said.

Shaughnessy said he thinks the EV outlet is rare. “We may be the tip of the spear in this,” he said.