Eurorepar Car Service is calling on independent garages to make 2023 the year of the electric vehicle (EV), with data from GiPA suggesting that 44% of businesses cannot serve plug-in motorists due to not having staff trained in EV servicing.
The automotive industry has seen a sharp rise in the number of motorists switching to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle in anticipation of the UK government’s combustion-engine ban in 2030.
In December, the latest SMMT figures showed battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) gaining their largest monthly share at 32.9%, with a total market share for 2022 of 16.9%, placing second behind petrol as the most popular drivetrain type.
Plug-in cars accounted for a total 22.9% of the market in 2022, while hybrids took 11.6%.
In addition to the rise in new registrations, there is also a growing parc of used EVs, as drivers start to swap older models for new up-to-date technologies. Those looking to enter the EV market, but not wanting to pay the premium prices that are asked for new models, the used-car market is the best place to start. This will inevitably end up leading more drivers to seek the services of a local independent garage.
Lack of EV servicing options means garages miss out
With only a little over half of all garages able to offer EV servicing, and a further 41% only offering limited EV services, drivers face a narrow choice of specialists for repair and service work.
“Understandably, many independent garages have been biding their time before investing in the necessary skills, training and equipment to maintain EVs,” said Nick Taylor, General Manager of Eurorepar Car Service. “But with demand increasing, this year looks like it could be the turning point for many garages receiving customer enquires that they simply can’t service.
“Not only are independent garages missing out on a growing revenue stream, but they’re also missing out on the opportunity to build customer loyalty. That might be particularly important if there’s only a handful of local garages providing EV servicing.”
Garages looking to offer EV servicing must ensure that employees are thoroughly trained and insured to work on BEVs and that the correct equipment is used. Maintaining an EV is a highly skilled job and attempting to do so without the necessary training and qualifications could be dangerous. The onus is on the automotive aftermarket to encourage customers to be vigilant of unaccredited sites.
“Eurorepar network members have access to The Performance Academy, which includes modules on full-electric and plug-in hybrid technology,” the company added. “The platform hosts more than 60 other modules, as well as webinars that cover soft service skills such as customer relationship management and upselling.