As the automotive world hurtles toward electrification, the importance of education is becoming more and more paramount. May car buyers know about EVs, but they often don’t fully understand what it means to live with one, the different forms of “electrification” that exist (battery-electric or full EV, plug-in hybrid, and so on), and what kind of preparation is required to smoothly integrate an EV into the household. It’s great that we have all these new technologies, but their impact will never be fully realized until buyers’ confidence in EVs grows.
According to General Motors, education is a huge part of EV adoption which is why they’ve launched EV Live, a virtual EV experience that allows users to interact one-on-one with GMs team of EV experts.
“Education is a critical piece (of EV adoption), and this is why we’re here today,” said Omira Janmohamed, EV readiness manager at GM Canada. “Anyone who has questions surrounding EVs and how an EV can incorporate into their lifestyle, EV Live
is the solution. You don’t have to be an EV owner – you can be simply EV curious. You can call in and say ‘You know what? I’m hearing a lot about EVs and I want to know more about it – help educate me.’”
“It's for everybody.”
EV Live is one element of what GM is calling their “holistic approach” to EVs, and it joins other recent GM innovations in the GM space such as the Ultium battery system and the Ultium Charge 360 network, which integrates a number of EV charging apps and services into one easily-accessible space to make charging EVs more seamless.
The studio itself gives the appearance of a virtual showroom featuring a host of GM’s latest and greatest EVs including the GMC Hummer
, the Cadillac Lyriq
and the yet-to-be-released Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan. Also present is a “naked” version of what underpins GM EVs – the Ultium platform, which is one of the main subjects EV Live users are asking about. This way, the expert can walk users through the various vehicles and show in real-time what’s happening under the hood. That feature, of course, is more suited to GM owners or prospective owners, but according to Janmohamed, the service speaks to a much larger array of people.
“Customers are a target audience,” she said, “but General Motors really does see this as a purely educational tool. So we’re educating our dealers (and) their employees, commercial and fleet customers, (GM’s own) employees – we’re our biggest ambassadors because we have questions, too – and third-party collaborators like utilities and such.” Since the program’s launch in January of 2023, GM has had over 57,000 visits to the site, and over 1,000 virtual sessions through to the end of June. Those all come from Canada and the US, which are the only markets currently served by EV Live.
It is a veritable “ask us anything” situation; want to know how long a given GM EV takes to charge? EV Live can help. Wondering about what driving practices can help increase range? No problem. What about just a basic pro and con list of switching to EV? They can consult on that, too.
Using the EV Live service is simple; all anyone needs is a laptop or tablet – or even simply a smartphone – and an internet connection. Once logged on to the EV Live website
(you can either join a session on-the-fly or schedule one for a later date, any day of the week), they are connected with a real person that is in the EV Live studio in Michigan. That expert can’t see the user, so they can be in their office or on the beach and the EV Live expert would be none the wiser.
During our “test drive” of the service, our expert, Craig, took us through the ins and outs of the EV Live studio and sure enough, it was all there; the vehicles, the platform – even a bank of chargers for demos on how those are supposed to function. Coupled with Craig’s ability to answer the more in-depth questions we had about the vehicles themselves, it was an educational experience. One can only imagine what it must be like for someone not as involved in the car world as we are and who hasn’t had the chance to experience as many EVs as we have.
The EV world may be an imposing one, but with tools like this, it’s becoming less so day by day.