How Electric Vehicles Will Transform the Auto Maintenance Industry

Technology tends to be disruptive to the old systems, irreversibly altering the way businesses and consumers operate. What did we do before computers came along? How on earth did we get to places without planes, cars, or even bikes? All of the systems that were once set in stone and seemed like the only way to do things slowly faded away with the advent of technology. As we electrify our roads, the auto vehicle industry faces the same disruptions.

Without a doubt, electric vehicles represent the next frontier of vehicular travel. As most governments look towards net zero economies, electric vehicles will play a big role in reducing the carbon emissions produced on the roads. However, EV technology will transform the auto industry, especially the future of auto maintenance.

Did you know that EVs are a lot harder on their tires? They are generally heavier and can generate near-instant torque off the line, meaning EV tires wear out faster. U.S. drivers travel 3.25 trillion miles annually, and as consumers keep their cars longer (11.1 years on average), they will end up replacing more worn-out tires in the vehicle’s lifetime. According to Zohr, an on-demand tire replacement service, its EV customers have been coming back for tire replacements 30% more frequently than gas-powered car owners.

Plenty of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) car owners have had to replace their tires after driving a mere 10,000 miles. So although electric vehicles generally need less maintenance, cutting the time and money spent in service shops, they will need to have their tires replaced more often. Firms that prioritize convenience and efficiency may be able to secure a large share of the tire distribution ecosystem.

Glass and visibility refers to all visibility products like windshield glass, wipers, cleaning fluids, headlights, and bulbs, and this group will also be disrupted by electric vehicles. While traditional gas-powered vehicles don’t require much computing power, electric vehicles require onboard technologies like sensors and cameras. Additionally, as more electric vehicles add sensors for advanced driver assistance features (“ADAS”), they will need to be kept clean for them to run optimally.

For long, suppliers like Valeo who makes products that contribute to visibility like wiper arms, blades, and motors and washer fluids have profited heavily from the auto vehicle space. With widespread EV adoption, they may be looking at reduced profits from such products. However, they are also looking at an increase in the total amount of profit potential across the vehicle due to a greater surface area of components that would require ‘visibility.’

For instance, consider the increasing trend of larger windshields and moonroofs. Then add all the dozens of sensors and surfaces unique to an electric vehicle that require clear, machine-verified visibility. Although we’re far from major disruption, these changes are coming, and firms that can switch gears and adapt with the times will come out winners.

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