Electric Port

EVs gain ground but how are aftersales departments preparing?

Jon Oxtoby

Alex Knight

02 Apr 2019

Sales of EVs and other alternatively powered vehicles grew by more than a fifth in 2018, according to latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Cap HPI figures have shown demand for used electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing, coinciding with an average 0.3% rise in residual values at three years/60,000 miles and it has calculated EVs cost 23% less than petrol or vehicles to maintain over three years/60,000 miles.


Meanwhile a report from Deloitte, predicts global EV production will increase to 21 million units by 2030. The report highlights the cost of owning an EV will be on a par with petrol and hybrid vehicles by 2022 thereby removing one of the biggest barriers to ownership.

Factoring all this into the equation, the adoption of EVs is increasing at an incredible rate which means the aftermarket needs to gear up particularly as more people will buy used and will be looking to the independent sector to fulfil servicing needs,

EVs have largely existed on the periphery of the motor trade because their number, whilst growing significantly, have been marginal. With all that set to change, the sector needs to take on board how wider EV adoption will affect their business.

Whilst EVs require less maintenance because there are fewer moving parts, we are already seeing some independents specialising in the market.

Workshops offering or planning to offer EV aftercare will need to ensure their technicians are properly trained due to the additional risks and hazards posed. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) offer training for all technicians who have reached level 2 in vehicle maintenance and repair or two years’ practical experience in vehicle diagnostics and repair.

According to Cap HPI’s analysis, EV maintenance for smaller vehicles can be even more cost efficient than similar conventionally powered vehicles.  For example, a Renault Zoe will cost £1,100 to maintain over three years/60,000 miles but a Vauxhall Corsa 1.0T 90 Design costs £1,497, making it 35.7% more expensive to maintain.

A Nissan Leaf costs £1,197 to maintain over the same time compared to the £1,429 a Volkswagen Golf 1.0TSI 110 SE would cost making it 19% cheaper.

A mix of fewer moving parts and also more sedate driving styles typically adopted by EV drivers leads to less wear and tear on brakes and tyres explained the cost difference highlighted by the research.

Dealers do need to prepare for a changing aftermarket, that’s certain. A report by global consultants Mckinsey ‘The Automotive Aftermarket in 2030’ warns the arrival of EVs and connected cars as well as e-commerce solutions could lead to a redistribution of aftersales revenue of some 30-40% over the next decade dramatically changing the current aftersales landscape.

The report cites disruptive trends such as:-

  • Increased digitisation providing price transparency
  • Big data enabling advanced analytics for targeted customer communications
  • Fleet customers who need different services more focused to its needs which could result in specialist providers emerging
  • The increasing amount of software in cars will require a mind set shift and new skills
  • Autonomous driving is likely to reduce the number of accidents but due to product complexity will require more frequent service and maintenance
  • Connected vehicles means more accurate predictive aftercare requirements

Consequently, new players will emerge in the aftermarket sector whilst the changing landscape, which will also see more integration, alongside industry consolidation will force providers to expand their service and value.

Topics: technology, dealerships, Aftersales, buying, customer journey, convenience, petrol

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