What are service managers doing to effectively service hybrid and electric vehicles and to get customers to come back? DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center and the SAE make a few points…
1. Hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles need routine ICE maintenance, and the electrical system (battery, motor, and associated electronics) will likely require minimal scheduled maintenance.
2. With the growing installation of regenerative braking systems into hybrids and plug-in hybrids, their braking systems generally last longer than conventional vehicle braking.
3. Dealers need to answer questions about battery life and warranty coverage (such as 10 years, 100,000 miles), and information on the manufacturer’s battery recycling policy.
4. All-electric vehicles typically require less maintenance than conventional vehicles since the battery, motor, and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance.
5. Despite the sophisticated nature of hybrid systems, technicians should be qualified for routine hybrid and EV service. Scan tools are a fact of life in today’s service bay, helping technicians “see” into the world of invisible electronics and diagnose problems. Safety policies are also a top priority for service technicians handling EVs and hybrids, just as they are for emergency “first responders.”