Hofmann Megaplan Blog

Welcome to the Hofmann Megaplan blog. Check back regularly for news, product launches and events.

The UK & EU’s proposed dates for banning all new petrol & diesel car sales.

As we all know, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the hot topic within the automotive industry at the moment and that isn’t going to change anytime soon – in fact, there are quite a few areas of interest for many professionals following EV development...and the dates of when all new petrol and diesel car sales will be banned is a key area!

The UK government announced some time ago that there are already (ambitious) plans in place to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, which caused immediate concerns for garage owners and mechanics alike, relating to how that will change the face of automotive aftersales service moving forwards. One in four UK households, equating to 6.5million, plan to buy an EV in the next five years but due to the lack of consumer confidence in battery life and charging facilities, there is still a long way to go.

The European Union has announced the proposed date of 2035 for the ban on sale of all new petrol and diesel cars – including hybrids – with 55% vehicular CO2 emissions decrease from current levels by 2030. This comes as part of a package of measures outlined by the EU to help with the development of the EV rollout.

It’s clear that car manufacturers are using these dates to continue the development and progression of their EV ranges, however garages are yet to take the plunge into investing for the future (even though we are seeing more and more EVs on the roads in the UK!).

Taking the plunge into EV servicing...

It’s not unusual for independent garage operators to be hesitant about investing in new equipment. At Hofmann Megaplan we saw the same trend when ADAS diagnostics were first introduced...

However, many garages are now reaping the benefits of ADAS servicing and the select few businesses that become ‘early adopters’ and turn their hand to EV services first, will establish themselves as the local leaders for Electric Vehicle maintenance. It would be hard for any consumer to think of going anywhere else!

Our brand new range of EV servicing equipment will have you covered:

Check out our full range of EV equipment online today or call our team on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss in more detail.

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If you are stuck in an Electric Vehicle, in traffic for an hour, how long will it take for the battery to drain?

This is a genuine problem the automotive industry currently faces and the battery life of Electric Vehicles (EVs) has been in the spotlight over the last couple of months, as this is one of the main reasons there is a lack of consumer confidence.

Electric cars are still relatively new and everyone is just starting to find out a little bit more of what to expect from them in the future.

However, it isn’t just consumers that have potential issues about the longevity of EVs. Automotive professionals from garage owners to mechanics, and even parliamentary personnel, have all been raising concerns about the lack of charging stations, battery life and a lack of EV knowledge when it comes to maintenance and servicing.

So...have you ever wondered what would happen if you’re stuck in a five-mile traffic jam with an electric car that doesn’t have a full charge?

EV battery life simulation by Which?...

File:Volkswagen ID.4.png - Wikimedia CommonsConsumer advocacy group Which? has attempted to address concerns that an EV’s battery would drain rather quickly if the driver used the air conditioning, heated seats, and other options while stuck in traffic.

To help with consumer confidence, Which? used the latest Volkswagen ID.4 electric and through conducting the simulation of being at a standstill for an hour with the lights on, changing the cabin temperature, streaming music, and watching films on rear-seat screens had only a little influence on energy consumption, resulting in a loss of only 2% capacity, or eight miles of range.

The test was conducted with music being streamed through the Android Auto system embedded into the infotainment system to see how battery capacity was affected by the vehicle remaining stationary.

Both front heated seats were also set to the highest temperature, the air conditioning was on full blast, the dipped headlights were turned on and a tablet was plugged into a USB connector in the back seats was playing a movie.

The VW’s battery only lost 2% of its 77kWh capacity after just over an hour and 15 minutes, equating to only eight miles of range.

Which? did note, however, that its controlled test was conducted on a hot day, and that cold temperatures will have a greater impact on the car’s power consumption and said that they would conduct a similar test during the winter.

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EV skills gap for service & maintenance is a cause for concern!

The latest concern for the government, garages and consumers across the UK surrounding Electric Vehicles (EVs), is the lack of skills to perform servicing, maintenance and repair on these vehicles moving forward.

Despite the pressures placed on car manufacturers to achieve the 2030 ambitions set by the government, there seems to be no thought about the aftermarket for EVs and how garages will be able to upskill their workforce to cope with the demand.

According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), at the end of 2020 only 6.5% of the automotive sector was EV-ready – the IMI reported that this is leading to a lack in consumer confidence and a key reason why not everyone is convinced about the viability of EVs.

Despite this, the latest SMMT data reveals that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for more than one in 10 (10.7%) new car registrations in June 2021, followed by 8.7% for traditional hybrids and 6.5% for plug-in-hybrids.

So, with consumers seemingly turning to a greener form of transport in recent months, what is the plan to get the UK garage workforce up to speed with EVs?

Time to ramp up EV skills training...

Although the evidence and need for training & upskilling the current UK garage workforce is obvious, putting the relevant training in place is going to be huge task.

IMI CEO Steve Nash commented: “The fact that our analysis shows such a big deficit in the EV skilled workforce should ring alarm bells for government, with its big ambitions for 2030. The recent House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report into the transition to zero-emission vehicles highlighted the need to train and retrain the workforce required to service the new car fleet. But highlighting the need and actually committing to investment in the upskilling are two very different things. And the current skills gap right across the UK economy, exacerbated by a combination of Covid-19 and Brexit is adding a further dimension to the challenge.”

The institute also added that for all those who are likely to work on EVs, the relevant training must be addressed as a matter of urgency, regardless of whether they are service and repair technicians or those working in the roadside recovery and blue light sectors.

EV servicing equipment to put your garage on the map!

If you are looking to get your EV servicing off to a great start, sourcing the right garage equipment is a necessary investment – here at Hofmann Megaplan, we can get your garage kitted out for every EV eventually.

Visit our full range of EV equipment online today or call our team on 01480 8-9-10-11 for more information on how we can help.

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NewMotion’s EV Driver Survey: What can the industry learn about consumer attitudes towards EVs?

ev iconCovering five different countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, and speaking to more than 10,000 Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers from across those countries, NewMotion’s EV Driver Survey is said to be the largest and most comprehensive in the industry to date...and you could learn so much from it!

Garage owners and mechanics alike are starting to think about EV equipment and asking the questions:

  • What do consumers think of EVs?
  • What access do EV drivers currently have to charging stations?
  • What are consumers expectations for the future?

This information is readily available for you to download now, just visit NewMotion by clicking here.

So, what are Hofmann Megaplan’s key takeaways from this survey?

3 Key Takeaways...

  1. Breadth and diversity emerging among EV drivers across all countries.

The survey indicates that there is no ‘average’ EV driver and urges the market to not think there is a single profile for what an EV driver looks like.

Two-thirds were aged 25-54, in the central section of their working lives. Drivers in the UK were particularly young, with 16% of them under 25, while Belgium had the strongest take-up among over-65s, at 17%.

  1. Drivers want more, faster, interoperable charge points

Two improvements to the charging experience for EV drivers were particularly popular; better and faster availability of public charging points, and charge point interoperability.

Better availability of public charge points came out strongly overall, with 48% choosing it – and 43% in the UK. This was beaten on average by faster EV charging, which was at the top of the list for 52% of drivers overall but only 41% for the UK.

Next in line is charge point interoperability, with 36% wanting a single charge card for every public charge point (28% in the UK).

  1. Financial benefits beaten by environmental reasons for consumers choosing an EV

The research also found that drivers are increasingly choosing electric vehicles for eco reasons rather than financial; a total of 58% of drivers across all markets said they had opted for an EV for sustainability reasons versus 34% for financial reasons.

Interestingly, the gap between the two was closer in France and the UK; in both markets 31% of respondents said eco reasons ranked highest, with 21% of French EV drivers selecting financial reasons and 18% of UK drivers.

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Electric Cars – what maintenance do they need?

Electric Vehicles and the maintenance they need to perform consistently.Everyone has started to notice them popping up in their local town or village and they’re even more popular with those living in the city. Electric Cars or EVs, is the hot topic in the automotive industry and also a subject widely debated in parliament.

For those of us who work within this sector, it is clear to see where the automotive industry is heading so for garage business owners, being one step ahead of the curve isn't a bad thing.

The basics of an Electric Vehicle…

We’ve seen the ads – Tesla, Volkswagen, Jaguar…the list goes on! But what truly is the difference between the cars we have come to love, and the new electric models deemed to be the future?

The simple answer is that these cars practically run themselves.

Electric vehicles involve fewer moving parts, emissions and liquids for your car to function so there is less to go wrong on a daily basis. Periodic software updates can also be remotely configured without a car dealership, so this begs the question, what actually needs maintaining?

The checklist:

  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Suspension
  • Tyres
  • Bodywork
  • Fluid Top Ups
  • Cabin Air Filter

Electric Car Battery Maintenance

Possibly the most important element in an EV, the battery is the largest and most expensive single component and requires more maintenance than any other on an electric car.

As a garage business owner, it is important to know that a visual inspection will not be enough to service a battery. This will only confirm that there is no obvious damage, leaking or corrosion – but any potential faults after a service need to be identified by undertaking the relevant testing. Just like any other electrical item, the charge of your electric car’s battery will deteriorate over time and can take 10-15 years to notice.

Replacing such a component due to lack of maintenance can be a serious investment for the vehicle owner!

Brake Wear on an Electric Vehicle

Did you know that there is no combustion engine in an EV? That means that the brakes and suspension are the largest mechanical part on an electric vehicle.

As with petrol and diesel cars now, the brakes need to be periodically assessed to ensure there is no wear and tear that can compromise the safety of the driver and any passengers.

That being said, once the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, the motor will react in a way that is similar to applying the brakes in a normal car – meaning that most electric cars will use their brakes far less than petrol cars, but when they do, they have to stop a much heavier vehicle.

Tyre Wear is the big difference

The pure size of an EV’s battery pack means that compared to a petrol car, electric cars weigh between 20-30% more on average. That has a massive impact on the wear of a customer’s tyres.

When considering your electric car services moving forwards, you need to be aware that you will be seeing electric car drivers much more often for replacement tyres. They need to be checked more consistently by owners and more thoroughly by garages – ensuring you have capable tyre fitting equipment could make a massive difference to your services moving forwards.

Other maintenance services to properly check over the tyres such as wheel-balancing, alignment and rotating the tyres will certainly make them last much longer.

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