There are already close to 2.5 million electric vehicles on the road in the US today, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 38% of US adults indicate that they would consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase, and EVs are projected to make up 17% of the vehicle market as early as 2030.
Auto shop owners recognize this emerging trend, and many are considering how to adapt their shop’s processes to service electric vehicles. At the R.O. Writer booth at SEMA, we heard from many shop owners who were both excited about this opportunity and concerned about how to make the shift to servicing both electric and internal combustion vehicles efficiently and profitably. Here are a few tips from our experts on making the shift successfully.
Start with what you know
In many ways, EVs are like any other vehicle. They require routine services, like tire rotation and wheel rotation, alignment, and replacement. Routine brake resurfacing and repair is also important for heavy EVs. Your shop can also service the following items, using tools and processes you already have in place:
- Cabin filtration
By promoting these services, your shop can build relationships with EV owners in the same way as you build relationships with conventional car owners through promotional pricing for routine services like oil changes.
Next Steps for your Shop
Many new EV owners will opt for a service package with the dealership they purchased the car from. But with so many EVs now on the road, the market for used EVs is expanding by the day, and so is the market for EV services from independent garages, like yours.
To provide more complex services for EVs, your auto shop team will need expertise in the real-world faults that have been identified as frequently affecting these vehicles. Moreover, to service high voltage EVs and Hybrid Electric Vehicles, your team members must have the right skills and experience with power electronics and data communication systems to safely perform service-related work.
There are two ways to access this expertise; either by sending technicians (or yourself) to EV training programs, or by hiring a technician who is qualified in the testing, validation, and troubleshooting of the electrical and electronic circuits that are found in a typical EV. Many colleges are now offering specialized Electric Vehicle Technician training programs, but at present the demand for qualified workers is very high, meaning that a technician with these skills can command a premium on the job market.
How can auto shop software help you plan your EV repair strategy?
To determine whether moving into EV repairs is right for your business, you’ll have to do some strategic planning around cost vs. benefit, both today and in the longer term. Auto shop management software, like R.O. Writer, includes a variety of reports you can review as you assess your shop’s financial and operational readiness to expand services beyond internal combustion engine-powered vehicles. With a full understanding of how your shop is currently performing, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the growing EV sector.
Are you planning to hire an EV certified technician, but don’t know how to find the best candidates in a competitive market? Watch this expert-led webinar from R.O. Writer and Elite Worldwide for all the resources and hiring best practices you need.