As interest in electric vehicles continues to grow, consumers may find they have a lot of questions they want to be answered before they even set foot in a car dealership showroom or get a car loan. To that end, General Motors is launching a new online platform called EV Live, designed to educate curious car buyers about the new world of battery-powered vehicles.
Anyone with questions about electric vehicles who has a computer or smartphone can log on to EV Live and talk in real-time with GM’s EV experts, who can provide tutorials, vehicle demonstrations and help promote the automaker’s many electric vehicle-related products.
We’re hoping to crowd the site this Monday,” said Hoss Hassani, GM’s vice president of the electric vehicle ecosystem, in a briefing to reporters, citing moments when the company’s site crashed, such as when it opened up pre-orders for its Chevrolet Silverado electric car and Hummer electric truck.
EV Live GM will introduce real-life customer service, who will be able to meet with customers in group discussions or one-on-one chats, with meetings bookable in advance. In addition, the app will offer pre-recorded meetings that deal with frequently asked questions.
Many of these staffers were selected from the automaker’s auto show staff and will be available to answer questions in a physical studio located near GM’s Detroit headquarters. At the launch, reporters can see some staffers walking around the brightly lit studio with smartphone gimbals in their hands to record various EV products.
EV Live will also be available to GM’s commercial and fleet customers who may have questions about how electric vehicles fit into their business. Dealers are also expected to utilize the platform as they expand their electric offerings.
Auto dealers are often on the front lines of customer questions about vehicle ownership. But with the shift to electric vehicles, many dealers find themselves overwhelmed by the number of questions they have about the latest technology. GM is conducting a massive training program to get its dealers up to speed on the transition to electric vehicles, and EV Live is designed to “complement” that effort, Harsanyi said.
GM expects a series of questions about electric vehicles, including queries about range, charging and total cost of ownership. The company said it will try to remain brand-neutral in its responses, but is likely to eventually steer people toward its own product lineup. And it is unlikely to answer any questions directed at competing EV brands, such as Tesla.
For any Internet giants looking to bombard the EV scene with harassment or misinformation, GM said it has procedures in place to turn those types of users away, citing its experience hosting similar online forums for Cadillac and Chevrolet customers.
“GM has very strong cybersecurity measures in place,” said Caley Hill, GM’s electric vehicle ecosystem manager.