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Servicing EVs-Requires Specialized Equipment and Training. Service Revenues May Fall 30%.

The Economist October 23rd 2021 pp71-72 |Science&technology|Servicing EVs|”Farewell to the grease monkey” “Electric vehicles are simpler and more reliable than those with combustion engines. But most existing garages aren’t able to service them”

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Summary offered by 2244

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are slowly changing the automotive landscape, a trend that will impact, among other aspects, auto-dealer and independent automotive servicing. With only 20 moving parts compared to nearly 2,000 for internal combustion engines (ICE), EVs are inherently more reliable and require less maintenance.

The most expensive element of an EV is the battery complex which may cost up to $20,000. As it is, currently there’s little talent available to service EV batteries in the most complex way-dissecting the battery unit and just repairing one of up to more than 30 battery modules. Servicing a battery by replacing a module is much less expensive than replacing the entire battery-which are typically covered by an eight year warranty. “A looming shortage of EV technicians is causing concern in many countries.” Currently, in Britain only 6.5% of mechanics are qualified to perform EV servicing. Industry groups are calling for “government boost training.”

This will also be a sea change for automotive dealerships and independent mechanic shops in terms of having to invest as much as $200,000 to enable EV servicing. The funds are needed to buy “high-voltage tools, computer diagnostics and safety gear”, and to train technicians to service EVs.

Service revenue is likely to fall, by as much as 30%, because there is not much preventative maintenance like oil changes and with cars loaded now with many sensors problems can be identified early and many resolved with software updates. Some of the shortfall might be recaptured by being able to service batteries.

Finally, those trained in high-voltage power repairs are better situated to transition to servicing EVs than are traditional “Grease monkeys.”


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