22 May 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

MAKING the most of the e-mobility opportunity

Juice Technology says if garages evolve into multi-service providers, they can make the most of the e-mobility opportunity

 

The evolution of driving technology is posing new challenges for garages. The profession is changing, bringing ever greater demands but also new incentives.

The spread of e-mobility and the resulting transformation of the automotive industry is eliminating certain services, but it is also creating new opportunities. If garage owners and operators can embrace this transformation, they have the chance to become a one-stop shop for all e-mobility services. This is a tough challenge, but it is also a great business opportunity.

In this article we explore the changing landscape, the skills needed to thrive in this new era, and how Juice Technology can seamlessly integrate e-mobility into a garage’s daily business.

Less maintenance, more business
While it’s true that electric cars require less routine workshop maintenance than conventional cars, car-related services will still be essential. With battery-electric drives, there is no longer any need for exhaust checks and oil changes. Similarly, changing spark plugs and filters and overhauling injectors will also be a thing of the past. In the future, servicing will focus primarily on seasonal tyre changes, cleaning and tuning work. Garages therefore need to start thinking about new business opportunities, such as consulting, purchasing advice and sales.

Electromobility opens up opportunities that go beyond the usual repair and maintenance services. After buying an e-car, the customer’s most important questions are: How do I charge the vehicle? How fast can I charge the vehicle and what do I do when I’m on the go? And it is precisely these needs that garage owners can put to good use.

New skills for a changing profession
As the automotive industry transforms, the aftermarket sector is also changing – from garages to dealers. The operators who successfully ride the wave will be those who are able to adapt to customers’ changing mobility habits. Adapting requires garages to acquire new skills, including management and marketing skills, but also specialised technical skills in electric vehicle (EV) diagnostics, battery maintenance and high voltage systems. It will be very important for garage managers and operators to gain experience with advanced electronics and software.

Equally important is deepening your knowledge of charging infrastructure. With more electric vehicles on the road, the demand for charging points will increase accordingly. Garage owners and operators can take advantage of this growing sector by offering state-of-the-art, future-proof charging solutions at their sites.

Investing in charging solutions to attract new customers
Charging infrastructure must become an integral part of any garage, both for on-site use and for sale. Given the variety of equipment in circulation, working with an experienced partner is a good way to improve the services you offer.

“As a manufacturer of charging stations and a world leader in the development of portable chargers, we can offer a complete range of solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of both domestic and commercial customers,” explained Andrew Oakes, Director of Juice UK and Ireland. “By adding charging solutions to their portfolio, workshop operators will be able to meet the changing needs of electric vehicle owners, build customer loyalty and increase revenue streams.”

Offering easy-to-use and affordable charging solutions will win the trust of potential new customers and alleviate their fear of running out of power. The best way for workshop operators to achieve this is to promote portable solutions that make charging while travelling as easy as charging at home. The great advantage of offering portable solutions is that they do not need to be installed by an installer but rather can be plugged directly into any wall socket – providing a fully equipped wall charger wherever you need it.

Portable chargers such as the Juice Booster 2 – a three-in-one device that supports charging at home, at public charging points and on the go – offer maximum flexibility along with maximum safety. They are as easy to use as the emergency charger cables that usually come with electric cars, but they offer more power and many more safety features, such as temperature monitoring. In fact, special adapters mean that they can be used not only with any standard household socket but also with industrial or camping sockets.

From garages to multi-service companies
Garages that want to succeed in this new era should strive to become customers’ first point of contact for all services related to electric cars. In addition to offering technical expertise, they need to be able to provide a range of useful services, such as tailored charging solutions, insurance, and financial products specifically designed for electric vehicles. Finding installers for photovoltaic systems and suggesting the right vehicle for companies and private individuals will also be beneficial. By offering these services, garages will become true hubs for a range of specialised services, handling everything from orientation and networking to sales. Achieving this vision will require a holistic approach to garage services, with the ultimate aim of becoming a highly specialised competence centre for electric vehicles.