In many ways, EVs aren’t that different from cars running on gasoline. Think about typical service issues like tires, alignments, ADAS – all of this still needs to be maintained, and the processes technicians need to run through are incredibly similar.
But, battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles also have new components you might not have worried about in the past. DC-DC converters, electric coolant compressors, chargers… The good news is, where there’s a need for service, there’s an opportunity for a new revenue stream – and that means there’s a need for parts.
E-commerce auto parts retailer CarParts.com recently announced that its next big investment to grow the company will focus on EVs and hybrids. As a result, in recent months, CarParts.com’s product offering for EVs and hybrids has grown to include more than 700,000 applications for the repair and maintenance of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs. The company has aftermarket EV and hybrid parts available for more than 25 popular vehicle makes, under its new specialized “EV and Hybrid Shopping Hub.”
EVs aren’t exactly pouring into the aftermarket repair window just yet, but CarParts.com CEO Lev Peker says that the time is coming soon. In a recent interview with aftermarketNews, he said:
“As EVs and hybrid vehicles age, consumers are more likely to buy aftermarket parts. Drivers are still in the adoption phase, but we are now seeing a growing number of green vehicles hitting our sweet spot of 6 to 15 years old. Over time, we’ve seen the number of EVs on the road grow and thus the need for more replacement parts.”
Parts aren’t the only thing these shops will need – new tools are necessary, too.
Toolboxes will need to be updated with insulated hand tools such as sockets, screwdrivers and pliers, and lock-out devices to place on battery connectors so they cannot be reconnected by unauthorized personnel. Scan tools, digital volt ohm meters, dual-pole testers: These are just a few new tools technicians will need to have on hand, and there are some unique ones specific to certain brands and makes, too.
And, of course, appropriate personal protective equipment will need to be available to the technicians for shock and arc flash protection.
Oh, and don’t forget that charging is also considered a key to servicing these vehicles, and the appropriate charging equipment will need to be installed in bays where these vehicles are having work done.
EVs are changing not only our automotive landscape, but what it means to service a vehicle. And with change comes the opportunity for growth.
My name’s David Sickels, and this is The EV Impact Show. See you next time.