It's been a while since EVs shed their fringe curiosity reputation and become a mainstream transportation technology, but they're still not yet ubiquitous enough that the general public is really comfortable with the vagaries of their day to day use. Basically, EVs are the shiny new toy and people still have questions. GM is here to answer them. The company announced on Monday that it is opening an online showroom/studio, dubbed EV Live, that will host Q&A sessions with the general public about electrification, the ins and outs of EV ownership and GM's Ultium 360 charging network and electric vehicle offerings.
The free service will allow anyone in the US, over the age of 18, with an internet connection to contact one of GM's EV liaisons to "answer EV-related questions in real-time and give virtual tours of the EV Live studio." That studio will feature mockups of GM's home and public chargers, the company's battery technology, and of course GM EVs. The liaisons will be able to speak on a wide range of subjects — from the engineering and chemistry that goes into the batteries, to explaining the home charger installation process and select a certified vendor — but don't expect the answers to be all-encompassing.
"If somebody's got a question about a Tesla battery pack, I'm sure they've done a lot of resources at their fingertips," Hoss Hassani, GM vice president of EV Ecosystem, said during a press call on Friday. "We want to talk to people about EV considerations overall where the opportunity presents to talk specifically about the GM advantage."
"We are not looking for our EV specialists to offer any editorial commentary, or get into a political discussion about federal policy, or state policy, or any of that," he added. The showroom is focused primarily on electric cars, trucks and SUVs but Hassani hinted that ebikes, electric ATVs and other offroad electric transports could eventually become topics of discussion as well.
GM expects both prospective EV buyers and recent purchasers to find value in this service. "If you're someone who owns an EV, if you drove off a lot and then realized — like many of us do — 'oh shoot, I have a whole bunch of questions that I didn't get answered,' this is an awesome place to come to to understand how you can make the most of what you're already driving," a GM representative noted during the call.
Visitors will be able to schedule a live one-on-one tour with a liaison — on-demand live group tours and prerecorded walkthroughs are coming later this year — and ask questions either through voice or text chat. But before you go whipping out your junk on camera, know that the liaisons will not abide.
"The staff are empowered," Hassani said. "If they find a conversation is just headed in a direction that is untoward, or that somebody is treating them inappropriately... well, it's very easy to disconnect the call." The studio will be open Monday to Thursday from 9am to midnight ET, Friday from 9am to 9pm ET, and Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm ET.