Time’s are shifting within the automotive industry. As electric vehicle sales show substantial increase and EVs takes precedence over automotive production, drivers aren’t the only ones who need to prepare for the upcoming switch to electric mobility. Auto repair shops, garages, and even brand name dealerships are executing new plans to begin accommodating the repair of electric models. A huge component of this involves figuring out where technicians will charge an electric vehicle once it’s in shop. The question is: Does your auto repair shop have enough juice to accomplish this?
Below we’ll detail every step that a shop owner should take to adjust to the anticipated rise in electric vehicle repairs.
How can auto body shops start preparing for electric vehicle ownership?
Electric vehicles require less maintenance than gas engines because there are fewer moving parts and essential fluids that require upkeep. With that in mind, electric vehicles are far from perfect. They still need to be serviced like any other gas engine model on a bi-yearly basis. Tire checks and rotations. Vehicle system maintenance. Headlight replacements. All these things require the expertise and experience of a trained professional. This being so, it’s up to the trained professionals to keep up with the evolving industry, i.e EVs.
So, that being the case, it’s probably time for your shop to better prepare for the increase in EV ownership. Here’s exactly how you can get the process started:
If an automotive business plans to accommodate EV customers in the near future, then the first step involves ensuring there is enough cabling and infrastructure available on site. In other words, a capacity check is crucial for determining whether your garage has sufficient power to charge electric vehicles. In some cases, it may be necessary to install electric charging points depending on the size of your auto body shop and its power supply as well.
To perform a capacity check, simply contact a local electrician to conduct a survey of your space. This is typically free of charge or a small undertaking should you want to become an “EV-friendly” garage.
Once your shop’s power is determined, the next step requires a bit more action and money. If sufficient power is available, you can begin installing charging points throughout your garage space. This will allow you to charge electric batteries at any time and place. Alternatively, your shop might not be able to house as much charging ports as you wish. In that case, you might want to consider investing in a Level 1 charging port to maintain low power usage each week.
Or… add a charging station
Of course, this is a more costly endeavor for an auto repair shop. However, the move to add a self-service charging station at your local business is a great incentive for new customers. Given that auto body shops have the outdoor space and available parking, this has the potential to generate additional revenue for your business and supply the needs of your EV customer base.
Other than charging installation, shop owners will also need to evaluate the estimated risks and safety provisions of electric vehicle repairs. First, this mainly requires the use of more equipment, such as insulated tools. Electric vehicles are also heavier in weight due to their battery size. Lifting equipment will need to be suitable for EVs in order to keep a safe working environment. In addition, you’ll need to monitor the amount of vehicles plugged in at one time to avoid the possibility of a power outage or explosion down the line.
Invest in further education and training
Although electric vehicles statistically require less maintenance than gas guzzling engines, that doesn’t mean they are any less intricate. It’s important for mechanics and automotive professionals to continually stay informed and knowledgable about electric motors and the technology that’s generating this automotive revolution. Shop owners must know how to run proper diagnostics and perform routine wellness checks on EVs just as they would internal combustion engines.
Take some time out of your busy routine and invest in further education and training. Whether this entails a few classes online each week or a three-day course in person, you’ll be glad you advanced your understanding of EVs for the sake of your business.
Auto repair shops are reaching a turning point
Just because electric vehicle integration is taking over doesn’t mean the service industry will fall on hard times. As the industry evolves, it’s important for every niche within the automotive world to get on board with the shifting demand. That is why many auto repair shops and independent garages are advancing their interests in electric vehicle repairs more recently. Though we expect it will take many years for electric vehicles to become a dominating force on roadways (and garages), auto repair shops can get the ball rolling now and start preparing for the future ahead.