As the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the roads rises, new data indicates that their owners might be paying a steeper price for maintenance and waiting longer for repairs compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle owners.
While ZEV are increasingly becoming a common sight, challenges persist when it comes to their maintenance and repair. Notably, there’s a current shortage of independent repair shops equipped to handle ZEVs. Although electric vehicles have fewer moving parts compared to their ICE counterparts, repairing them requires specialized skills and involves greater risks. Consequently, independent garages need significant investments to ensure safe and effective ZEV repairs.
In countries like Italy, for an independent garage to be fully equipped for electric vehicle repairs, an investment of around 30,000 euros is essential. Many garage owners are hesitant to make such substantial investments at this stage.
Globally, there’s a notable deficit in trained auto electricians. Studies from the US project a need for 80,000 such specialists by 2031. In the UK, while 20% of the current auto electricians have training to service ZEVs, only 1% can handle more than basic maintenance.
Experts predict that franchise-based service centers will increase their repair prices due to these challenges, and waiting times are expected to lengthen.
Major industry players are devising strategies to address these challenges. For instance, Tesla is planning to train technicians straight out of US colleges. Meanwhile, the UK’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is seeking approximately 15 million pounds from authorities to upgrade independent workshops, enabling them to cater to ZEVs.