A series of Wednesday headlines from automobile news outlets reported on the apparent cheaper cost of servicing electric vehicles when compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
“Average value of BEV service 22% less than ICE, says Fleet Assist,” one such headline from Motor Trader Magazine read.
Stories from Business Car, “EVs cheaper to service than ICE cars, Fleet Assist data shows” and GreenFleet, “EVs are 22% cheaper to service than ICE cars, reports Fleet Assist” were titled in similar fashion.
As it turns out, a deeper look past these headlines reveals the future to not be so bright when it comes to the repair costs of EVs.
Sure, as all three aforementioned outlets reported, a recent analysis by Fleet Assist found that the average value of an EV servicing is currently 22 percent less than an equivalent repair would be on an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.
However, because EV cars cover fewer miles between servicing, dealers are beginning to face rising operating costs in technician sales, GreenFleet reported.
“Fleet Assist would not support such a knee-jerk pricing action, but the reality is that garages are having to take their future investment and growing overheads into account,” Green Fleet reported.
“This includes technician training, a continued provision of a collection and delivery service and courtesy vehicles and upgrading their workshops to manage BEVs, which includes multiple software updates, all of which cost time and money.”
“This follows a recent survey by The Motor Ombudsman that confirmed that six in 10 garages expected to raise their prices in 2022 to remain profitable against the background of rising overheads.”
The cost of the working parts needed for EV replacements and repairs is also rising.
According to Motor Trader Magazine, those parts include pollen filters, bulbs, key fob batteries, wipers and brake fluid.
Over time, all of these costs will add up.
“Fleet and retail drivers cannot take it for granted that BEV SMR prices will remain cheaper than ICE cars, as overtime costs could become more comparable,” Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD, said according to GreenFleet.
“Garages are already starting to come to terms with how EVs will impact their servicing revenues and workshop traffic in the longer term.”
“We may see more garages looking at ways to address how the paradigm shift of BEV aftersales is going to challenge their service provision and fees they charge.”
The organization that contracted Fleet Assist to put together the report, a franchised garage, is already facing many such hurdles.
According to Green Fleet, the company is considering whether or not to implement an 89 percent increase in the labor rate for the servicing of EVs over ICE cars.
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