The Joint EV Trends and Outlook Forecast - Annual Update, presented by Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, took place at AAPEX 2023 on October 31 at the EV Experience Stage on the first level of The Venetian Expo.
The session began with an overview of a forecast conducted by the PwC Network in partnership with Schwartz Advisors and IMR, led by Carlos Thimann and Kunal Arora, both representatives of the PwC Network. The forecast focused on light vehicles in the United States.
The overview, which touched on elements of a larger report available through Auto Care Association, outlined various aspects of electric vehicle adoption, attitudes, and opportunities.
For example, some of the motivations for EV adoption were categorized as the following: Total cost of ownership, regulation, model accessibility and choices, consumer behavior, and charging infrastructure. Data shows new BEV sales could reach up to 35% by 2030 and 60% by 2035. Hybrid percentages will initially go up, but they will eventually go down as BEV demand grows at a faster rate.
Even though ICE vehicles will remain on the road for years to come, the push for newer technologies will bring some additional factors into play, and the importance for shops to keep up was emphasized. New software and hardware opportunities that come along with new technology could have shops considering battery/battery system services, power electronics, regenerative braking systems, safety systems and ADAS and charging.
For shops interested in exploring these opportunities, the forecast report suggested investments in technician training, charging capability, safety equipment, level three charging capability, diagnostic tools, lifts, and even test vehicles/test fleets if feasible.
Other suggestions for facing the future of the aftermarket included supporting the Right to Repair movement, building relationships with suppliers. considering service diversification where it makes sense, increasing customer convenience alongside customer satisfaction and focusing on training, technology, and safety.
One major takeaway message revolved around the need for service providers to be prepared and on top of industry news as well as the complexity of BEV technology. More shop involvement in electrification could also lead to increased competition amongst service providers.
Following the presentation, there was a panel, which was led by Philip Atkins of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers and Michael Chung of Auto Care Association. Panelists included Carlos Thimann, Tom DeMille of Transtar Industries, and Dwayne Myers of Dynamic Automotive.
Questions were asked about each of the individual's responses to the forecast report and their relationship with electrification. DeMille shared that Transtar went through a reframing of its mission, expanding focus from mostly transmission to "the complexity of cars" instead, including undercar services.
Myers said although there are a lot of EVs in his local area, his shops aren't working on too many—but they are in the hybrid service arena. Calibrations are also an area of focus for the shops, and EVs are next. He said having the entire company trained in how EVs work, not just the technicians, is important.
The panel agreed that training and safety are crucial to consider when dealing with EVs. This also included the individuals being hired. DeMille said technicians need to be a focus, especially those who are interested in the "up and coming parts" of the industry.
Myers touched on the element of education, saying that customers need to be educated on when and if shops can offer these EV services, and customers need to know that they have the option of going to a shop or a dealer.
"We have to change the perception of what the public thinks about us and what we can do," Myers said.
The 2023 Automotive Aftermarket Expo began on October 31 and runs through November 2 at The Venetian Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.