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Good Things Are in the Air

The maintenance of air conditioning systems on electric vehicles is a niche that independent workshops need to fill. PHOTO MAHLE

In a web presentation, the supplier MAHLE highlighted the great potential for independent workshops for the maintenance of cooling and air conditioning systems.

According to the worldwide figures presented by MAHLE, the percentage of new cars running on petrol, which was 71% in 2018, will only account for 50% of the market in 2030.

In the same period, diesel-powered light-duty vehicles will change from 18% to 10% of the global fleet. Meanwhile, all-electric cars will account for 16% and hybrids for 19% of the market, compared to less than 1% and 3% respectively in 2018.

According to MAHLE, natural gas-powered cars are not in high demand because they are only accounting for 5% of the market.

This development will result in a large number of aftermarket workshops for cars and light trucks activated by a wide variety of systems within the next few years.

The multiplication of propulsion system families and their particular cooling requirements represent a very interesting source of additional income for independent workshops.

It is very important for MAHLE that shop managers have the equipment to diagnose these very complex systems and the well-trained technicians to maintain them.

Jürgen Laucher, Division Manager for Temperature Management for the Aftermarket Sector at MAHLE, states that air conditioning today is much more than just providing a comfortable interior for the vehicle occupants.

“When you know that an electric motor should not exceed a temperature of 90°C , electronic components 70°C and an electric car battery 40°C, you understand the importance of providing our customers with the necessary vigilance for the maintenance of the cooling systems.”

“The air conditioner and the entire network it powers are becoming essential in keeping new-generation cars in running condition.”

According to Laucher, workshops must integrate the verification of cooling systems into their inspection routine.

“You need to know what needs to be maintained and which parts are most suitable for replacement. A good audit every two years is recommended.”

COVID and filtration

While MAHLE representatives admit that the last few months have seen a decline in the demand for replacement parts from mechanical workshops, sales of cabin air filters have exploded.

Attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic, demand has increased the for the replacement of these filters because they act as a barrier to contagion.

The experts note that during inspections, cabin air filters are often forgotten. They point out that in an environment where people are particularly sensitive to the quality of the air they breathe, it is necessary to propose the replacement of these filters if necessary.

MAHLE, well known here specifically for its air conditioning service machines, has also more recently developed expertise in the diagnosis and reprogramming of electronic modules and in the calibration of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Going forward, the ability of independent workshops to develop their capacity to repair these complex systems will be very important for MAHLE.

 

Categories : Editorial, Mechanical
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