Training provider LKQ Academy has committed to upskilling another 1,000 UK technicians in hybrid and EV servicing by the end of 2023.
The LKQ Academy is aiming to help futureproof the UK aftermarket, and its latest pledge follows a successful 12 months in which it has trained more than 2,000 technicians in hybrid and EV servicing, maintenance and repair. The plan comes as it comes as GIPA data reveals that one in two drivers have changed their repairer since purchasing an EV.
“The direction of travel on hybrids and EVs is clear, around half of all new cars sold now are plug-in, up from one in 10 vehicles in 2019,” commented Bob Wiffen, Workshop Solutions Director at LKQ Euro Car Parts.
“And although many of the newest vehicles will be maintained by their dealership to start with, there are plenty of hybrids in particular that are in their fourth and fifth years of ownership, and that are coming into the independent aftermarket now.”
Hybrid and EV servicing essential skill
Recent registration figures from the SMMT show that one battery-electric vehicle (BEV) was registered in the UK every 60 seconds last month. The industry body expects this to increase to one every 50 seconds by the end of 2023, and one every 40 seconds in 2024.
The increase in BEV registrations comes as manufacturers unveil more models, giving buyers more choice. While there was a 10.5% drop in BEV registrations amongst private buyers in July, the increases come via fleets and businesses. These are more likely to be sold on after three years, as companies renew their vehicles.
In total, electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 35.4% of registrations in July alone. In the latest UK car parc data, hybrid and EV models make up 5.8% of vehicles on the roads, equating to 2,038,587 cars featuring an electric element. This number is rising consistanly, meaning there is more likelihood of a hybrid or electric vehicle coming into garages.
“Garages that act fast to upskill their workforce will retain their loyal customers as they upgrade to newer, cleaner technologies – at the same time as attracting hybrid and EV drivers from the competition,” added Wiffen.
New courses at LKQ Academy
The LKQ Academy is also launching a number of new courses to help the independent aftermarket get hybrid and EV-ready.
Available at several locations including Doncaster, Tamworth and Southampton, ‘Becoming an EV Garage’ is a new two-day training course that starts with an overview of the plug-in market in the UK, before covering the advantages of tapping into this growing sector of the market, and how to make hybrid and EV servicing and maintenance a profitable workstream.
There are also two new practical courses now available through LKQ Academy for technicians who are already trained in level 4 and looking to become specialists in HV repair. One is focused on problem solving, analysis, diagnosis and repair for high voltage systems, with the second course focused on high voltage batteries.
“Many drivers are entering into the relative unknown with their first hybrid or EV and are carefully choosing which workshop to take it to,” continued Wiffen. “It goes without saying that investing in the right skills on the workshop floor is essential for garages looking to take advantage – but for that to really pay off, so is effective marketing.
“Garages that highlight their hybrid and EV servicing expertise and capability on their websites and on social media are best placed to win the confidence of their customers, and with our help, can build their reputation as a local specialist in a market that’s only going to grow.”
LKQ Academy provides quality, IMI-approved courses for all levels. It offers a free skills assessment to technicians looking to assess where they might need to top-up their training.
Individual memberships at the LKQ Academy start from just £649. A Platinum membership offers workshop customers access to 20 training days – across 25 locations – and 20 eLearning courses annually for just £2,499 a year, with no limit to the number of staff who can be trained.
For more information on the LKQ Academy visit: www.lkqacademy.co.uk.