FLEETS changing to lower carbon and zero emission vehicles are having to adapt to different SMR maintenance requirements.
These can be more costly, but tyre service and maintenance provider ATS Euromaster said these can be managed effectively with a variety of insider tips on how to keep maintenance budgets under control.
David Crowdy, Category and Pricing Assistant Manager, SMR, at ATS Euromaster said: “Electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid vehicle SMR needs are like any other cars on the road – the more they are used the more maintenance is required, although EVs should be cheaper to service thanks to the reduced number of moving parts in an EV.
“However, where EVs and hybrids do differ from diesel and petrol ICE cars is in the greater wear on steering, suspension and tyres.”
Crowdy said the main reason for this is the greater weight of the vehicles thanks to the addition of a battery, along with the greater amount of torque available to EVs. He offers this advice to fleets in order to minimise wear and tear costs.
Tips for managing EV and hybrid maintenance costs
- Explain to drivers the benefits of smoother driving – if necessary install telematics systems to identify persistent offenders or drivers with high tyre wear rates.
- Drivers should accelerate gently and feed in the torque gradually (especially for EVs)
- Drive through corners rather than diving into a bend and putting additional strain on the outside tyres, increasing wear rates
- Avoid hard braking. Instead, brake smoothly and progressively, anticipating the road conditions ahead. With EVs, use the regenerative braking to minimise brake pad wear – not only will it help top up the battery, but reduce general wear and tear. Consider driver training when switching your drivers from ICE vehicle to EVs
- With hybrids, a smoother driving style offers a more efficient ride, maximising the fuel saving capability of the hybrid drivetrain
- Any regularly serviced vehicle is generally more reliable and suffers from less emergency down time, provided any identified wear and tear work is rectified such as tyres, wheel alignments, steering & suspension and brakes – so ensure drivers book in maintenance in a planned manner
- Be prepared for winter and book vehicles in for auxiliary battery checks at the end of Q3 beginning of Q4 – Free at ATS Euromaster. The majority of EV/Hybrid vehicles have auxiliary batteries which are the same on normal combustion vehicles and can fail in cold weather. Getting these checked in advance will allow the customer to replace the battery in advance and reduce the risk of an unexpected breakdown
Crowdy added: “Generally, hybrid vehicle servicing requirements are very similar to the equivalent ICE vehicles since the components are fairly much the same. However, there are additional checks required around the electrified system to make sure it is still safe and working as intended.
“ATS Euromaster technicians that carry out hybrid servicing must have passed an additional Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved EV/Hybrid training course which allows them to work around the high voltage area safely while performing the service.”
All ATS Euromaster service centres are now equipped with fully trained staff to accept EV and hybrid vehicles.