How will the electric car affect the Jobber?
We asked Kevin McBride of Brighton Automotive—a small community—how the EV will impact his business.
Kevin replied: “It will be a little while yet… another transition like we’ve been through many times. I think it’ll be a good thing, you’re still going to have brakes, driveline components, batteries…”
We asked if he knew what kind of parts he will need to stock?
“Not yet. I’m putting a lot of faith in my supplier… they will have this figured out! I’m not too worried.”
We inquired if his service providers customers were are up to fixing EVs now.
“No, but I think that will be very short term…I think most guys coming out of schools now are more into electronics; they really don’t know how to fix anything… they just replace; I think it’s going to be replacement world anyway.”
“You need someone in the shop that knows how to diagnose and someone who knows how to ‘plug and play’. The whole industry has to make a big change!
In a busy metropolitan area
When questioned about EV parts and availability, Partsmart’s Jay Oberoi, from a busy metropolis outside Toronto, said: “So far we are not getting many calls for electric vehicles… we have parts for hybrids but not EVs yet. I’m not really concerned about stocking them.
Once in a while someone will call for a Tesla part, but they haven’t been made available to us.
“Right now I don’t think there are a lot of accessible EV parts in the market… some area shops can service the vehicles… but how deep can they can go? And we aren’t sure what parts will really be needed or have information about them.”
And from Kindersley, Saskatchewan
Auto Value’s Dustin Critchlow remarked, “The direct impact on our business will be a little slower than larger metropolitan areas, due to our rural and remote market.
I feel our customers suffer from ‘range anxiety’—many are hesitant to adopt import vehicles due to being +2Hrs from a service centre for warranty issues. Along with the main industry in our area being oil related, I feel EV adoption will have some pushback in our market.
It’s always in the back of our mind how these alternatives will impact our business, not just the automotive business but our local economy as a whole.
“The majority of our sales are under-car related. EV’s still have struts, wheel bearings, brakes, steering components.
Maybe the cost of those parts will increase. As more manufacturers enter the EV market, we see many platforms use some form of a transmission (Porsche Taycan).
Filters will be the largest sales casualty, but the cost/complexity of cabin air filtration has increased. EVs with a single motor/dual motors have differentials requiring seals and lubrication, as well as cv axles.
Batteries will degrade over time—most require some form of coolant for maintenance. Sensors and modules are also becoming a fast-growing component.
“Our suppliers are great—if we have a problem/question, we rely on them to guide us. Some of our service providers may struggle with EV technology—our major concern is our independent garages who currently struggle to provide re-flashing and module programming—that’s going to become more complicated and required for common repairs.
“The pandemic has made it easier for suppliers to adopt virtual training, and we introduce independent shops to that training; help guide them through the recent advancements happening today.”