06 Apr, 2020
06 Apr, 2020
Lack of EV/hybrid technicians may affect uptime
Private owners or fleet operators can face a longer repair time in care of a mechanical failure or collision if after-sales business will not prepare faster to handle the new models.
As CO2 caps and taxation are expected to push more drivers into electrified cars over the coming years, and environmentally-conscious businesses seek to increase their electric van fleets, dealerships, workshops and bodyshops are under greater pressure to deal with repairs and maintenance to the batteries and high-voltage electrical components in these vehicles.
While maintaining an electric or hybrid car or van is often no more difficult than one powered by a combustion engine, technicians must be specially trained in order to avoid getting shocked by the electrical system.
Most manufacturers have programs set in place for training technicians to handle EV or hybrid vehicles. But not all dealers have the personnel or equipment to work on this type of vehicles.
In the case of independent workshops, the situation is even more delicate. If specific tools are available, most of the service stations still miss EV/hybrid knowledge.
It may be the case that, a fleet or a private owner, has to face a delicate task of having its vehicle repaired hundreds of km from his place. Such a situation will make the people ask themselves is the early adoption of electrification was a good idea from the beginning.
On top of the inconvenience of logistics, the user may be confronted with a lack of competition which would have a negative impact on the flexibility and repair budget.
On the collision repair side, the workshops are likely to become transplant facilitators. A damaged battery unit will be replaced entirely. Same will happen with other elements of the driveline or other driver assistance systems.
Having a high price tag, a damaged battery could rapidly send the whole vehicle to the scrap yard in case of older units.
OEM’s are just now starting to provide EV/hybrid trainings to independent service networks, an activity which was reserved only to official dealerships in the past.
The after-sales industry has to adapt rapidly and the OEM’s have to provide much more support for the whole workshop ecosystem, being it independent or dealership.