Between May 3 and June 30, IMR Inc. interviewed 1,000 independent repair shops in the U.S. to gain insight on their service of battery and hybrid electric vehicles and investment in specific tools, equipment and training for technicians to work on these newer vehicle technologies.
Three out of every 100 vehicles (3.1%) serviced at an average independent repair shop are BEVs while HEVs account for 6.2% of the vehicles serviced. Shops located in the west (7.7%) have nearly double the percentage of business from HEVs over shops located in the midwest (4.2%). Of shops that service BEVs/HEVs, almost 70% do not specifically market or advertise the service.
Of independent repair shops that service BEVs and HEVs, 89.4% have seen an increase in the number of BEVs coming in for service while 87.4% have seen an increase in HEVs coming in for service. However, among all independent repair shops, only 27.5% of shops have invested in tools and equipment to specifically service BEVs/HEVs while 30.5% of shops said they had invested in additional/specialized training for technicians, focused on electric or hybrid vehicles. Overall, larger shops (8+ bays) made more investments in tools, equipment and training (48.9%) than their smaller competitors (26.4%).
With the increasing market penetration of BEVs/HEVs and rapidly evolving technologies, independent repair shops that service these vehicles recognize the importance of keeping up with current information, IMR says. Of the shops surveyed, 46.7% reported that their primary supplier provides updates on the latest industry trends regarding BEVs/HEVs, while 53.3% of shops said theirs does not.
While 67% of independent repair shops indicate that a portion of their business comes from servicing BEVs, more than 55% of shops surveyed believe it will take over 10 years for BEVs/HEVs to impact their business. Another 13.4% of shops believe that these vehicle types will never impact their business.