Demand for electric and hybrid vehicles continues to be shaped by changing regulatory regimes worldwide. In this article Autodata’s data analysts break down the trends in new vehicle sales and in workshops and how they are likely to impact the aftermarket going forward.
2021 saw the UK government confirm that sales of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned in the country from 2030; a move forward from the initial pledge of 2040. Norway introduced an even more ambitious target of 2025 for the last new fossil fuel-powered vehicle to be sold. With governments and major OEMs working together on electrification schemes to make it more convenient for commuters to recharge electric vehicles on the road and at their place of work, both the new vehicle market and aftermarket are seeing knock-on effects.
The aftermarket has also seen changes. Autodata’s online workshop application is used by over 85,000 workshops worldwide, giving valuable insight into service trends. Between 2019 and 2021, usage of the wiring diagrams module increased by 46%, while usage of the Diagnostic Trouble Code search increased by 33%.
Salim Arkadan, Product Manager for Autodata, said: “The shift toward electrification has definitely intensified as we are seeing significantly wider demand for data in topics that in years past would have been the preserve of speciality repair shops. New electric and hybrid vehicles registered today will require road tests from 2026 – we’d definitely encourage workshops to look at the solutions and in-house skills they have and what they need to do to prepare.”
The electric and hybrid new car market
cap hpi, Autodata’s sister company in the Solera group, reported that in September and October 2021, electric vehicles overtook diesel as the 2nd most registered fuel type in the UK, representing 15.4% of vehicles registered in October 2021. While this was not the first time they had overtaken diesel, having also done so in April 2020 and December 2020, the previous occasions represented unique cases. In April 2020, an unusually low number of vehicle registrations took place due to the pandemic – while in December 2020 a raft of electric models had been introduced, generating a spike in interest.
The SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) reported that in 2021 27.5% of the UK’s new car market is now electrified in some form, breaking down 191,000 new battery electric vehicles, 115,000 plug-in hybrids, and 147,246 hybrid electric vehicles.
The electric and hybrid aftermarket
In 2021, the most-serviced electric vehicle worldwide was the Nissan Leaf (2010-2018), followed by the Renault ZOE, Tesla Model S and Tesla Model 3. Other brands represented in the top 10 include BMW, Volkswagen and Kia. Autodata’s annual Most Serviced Vehicle report includes a country-by-country breakdown on the most-serviced hybrid and electric vehicles and can be found here.
Chris Wright, VP of Sales Northern Europe for Solera, said: “The aftermarket faces a challenge from more complex hybrid and electric vehicles. While many OEMs continue to position their dealerships to bring service in-house, there are also more customers expecting to be able to service their hybrid or electric vehicle in independent or chain workshops. As first and second-generation electric vehicles continue to age and begin to require road tests, we will see technicians increasingly asked to be electricians and even computer scientists, diagnosing issues with digital systems and firmware in vehicles that are quite a different technology to ICEs.
“We’re ensuring workshops have the tools they need by continuing to add mild hybrid, plug-in-hybrid and electric vehicles into our online workshop application that technicians can use to look up wiring diagrams, engine bay layout and more.”
In 2019, Autodata acquired AutoMate Training – now known as Autodata Training – which provides online technical training and professional development via its web platform. Recently added training topics have included control module power and ground circuit checks, solenoid diagnosis, knock sensors and keyless entry systems, all designed to provide up-to-date training on Hybrids and EVs as well as petrol and diesel variants
Jonathan Sampson, Managing Director and Founder of Autodata Training, said: “This is a critical time for workshops to improve their technicians’ skills, ensuring they remain competitive in the aftermarket. In combination with Autodata’s diagnostic and repair data, our online training courses are aimed at giving workshops the tools they need to service and repair a wider range of vehicles and to avoid costly rework. If workshops fail to learn how to work on hybrid and EV vehicles, they will soon be left behind.”