What You Need to Know Before Your Shop Starts Working on EVs

What You Need to Know Before Your Shop Starts Working on EVs

It may seem like just another busy day with customers calling about getting their cars serviced and repaired. Then comes a call you may not have been expecting, at least not yet. “Do you work on electric cars?” the caller asks.

With any new automotive technology there comes a tipping point, a time when production and adoption rates lead to the need for new service capabilities at professional auto repair shops. For EVs that time is fast approaching, and taking advantage of those opportunities requires getting ahead of the curve.

A good place to start is to take stock of what you know, and what you need to know. An understanding of current and projected demand for EV repair and maintenance in your area will indicate how and when you will need to expand your services. That determination will then drive answers to questions about shop organization, tools and technologies, and an evaluation of technician staffing and training needs.

AutoLeap, an auto repair shop software provider, writes about how to prepare for EVs. Here are some strategies they suggest you can adopt to be ready:

  • Learning how to work on hybrid vehicles will help prepare your shop and technicians for full battery electric vehicles.
  • Upgrading your technicians’ technology skills helps capitalize on practices already needed for many internal combustion engines and advanced driver assistance systems, as well as over-the-air software updates, battery troubleshooting and high-voltage safety protocols.
  • Acquiring advanced diagnostic equipment required for electronic control systems in both ICE vehicles and EVs makes the most of your investment.
  • Hiring staff now that you will need in the futurecan immediately bring in people who have the specific skills to work on EVs, including trade and technical school graduates who have been trained on EVs and HEVs, and the latest electronic system diagnostics.

Along with EV market growth have come new training courses for technicians so they can stay current on the latest technologies, procedures and best practices to safely and effectively work on EVs.

One of those programs is offered by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), which collaborates with educational institutions to support the new and existing auto technician training needs in alternative fuel and electric vehicles. One of its programs in conjunction with West Virginia University is Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Training.

Available for groups, the course provides a foundation of information on different types of EVs, their various systems, testing and diagnostic equipment, battery leak detection procedures, and how charging issues are diagnosed. The course can aid participants in the ASE L3 certification test for hybrid/electric vehicle specialists.

Investing today in the time, resources and training needed can put your shop in the lead when it becomes time to offer EV maintenance and repair services. That way, when the call comes asking, “Do you work on electric cars?” you’ll be ready to say “Yes.”

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