Research by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) reveals that 50 per cent of Australian workshops are EV-ready or actively investing in skills and equipment.
“As an industry, we have been dealing with assumptions around our EV readiness, misunderstandings about attitudes towards EVs, and questions around what kind of regulation or oversight is needed,” said Lesley Yates, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy at the AAAA.
“What this research shows is that a large portion of our industry’s workshops – 50 per cent in fact – are either already EV-ready (one in 10) or already investing heavily in future readiness, prioritising skills and equipment to create a safe and productive working environment.”
According to Yates, many of these workshops have safely serviced and repaired electric and hybrid vehicles for more than a decade.
“And importantly, the majority of those that aren’t actively investing right now (39 per cent) are not ‘EV rejectors’, but instead are simply waiting until it makes more commercial sense in their specific local markets to make such investments, which is completely understandable given that current trend rates expect Australia’s national fleet will still be comprised of 90 per cent ICE vehicles in 2030, even if sales of EVs in 2030 reach as high as 50 per cent,” she said.
According to Yates, the research shows the automotive industry is ready to be the “trusted partner” for electric and hybrid vehicle owners Australia-wide.
“We have the knowledge, the skills, the equipment, and a proven track record, and this is all only going to increase as more and more workshops invest in this area.”
“Before now, no one had a sense for how much workshops were gearing up for EVs, as no one had this data. But now we do, and it proves what we have been saying – we are a sophisticated industry, one that is highly skilled, equipped, and future-focused.”
According to Yates, the industry’s embrace of EV technology negates the need for government regulation or assistance from other parties, such as electricians.
“What this means is while we welcome government assistance, and there are certainly areas the AAAA wants to work on with our government partners, any calls for introducing regulation on something we are already doing safely and successfully, and any pushes for members of other industries to be tasked with servicing and repairing cars, are really not required.
“It also means any judgements of the auto industry as being behind the times or out of touch with what is coming is an unwarranted stereotype.”
Although there is a large focus on electric and hybrid readiness, many workshops also remain committed and focused on internal combustion engine (ICE) servicing and repair.
“While EVs and hybrids are certainly increasing in their numbers in Australia, there is still a massive number of ICE vehicles in our car parc and that will continue to be the case for quite some time,” said Yates.
“Therefore, it is important workshops continue to service these vehicles, and I am pleased to report many of our workshops are still placing a focus on the safety and emissions of our existing ICE vehicles at the same time as they are preparing for the future.”
The research, conducted across July and August 2023, surveyed automotive workshop decision makers spanning a range of different size businesses amongst AAAA members and the wider automotive industry across the country.