“What can I do to get you driving this car home today?” It’s a classic car salesman pitch, but this time the subject is electric vehicles — and the answer, for Arnold Clark boss Eddie Hawthorne, is simple: make it as easy to charge your car battery as it is to fill up with petrol.
Hawthorne’s industry is on the cusp of huge change. The days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. The UK has joined most of the rest of Europe in banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Sales of new hybrids, which incorporate petrol and battery power, will end five years later.
Hawthorne, who has run Europe’s largest privately owned car dealer for two decades, is embracing