Electric Vehicles: Servicing, IMI Training and UK EV Sales
As expected with the UK’s ambitious net-zero targets for 2030, the adoption of electric vehicles is reaching new heights. The banning of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles is inevitable and only the beginning as this transformation will change the way service and repair workshops operate. Find out what Elite Garages have done in terms of upskilling technicians and we also take a closer look at the top 10 electric vehicles in the UK.
Servicing Electric Vehicles At Elite Garages
As a leading independent garage network with 16 locations across the south and southeast of England, Elite Garages has firsthand experience of this transformation. There has been a tremendous uplift in customer requests to repair and service electric vehicles.
Elite Garages took action and sent many vehicle technicians for the appropriate certification through Autotech Training. They provide Level 2 to Level 4 IMI electric/hybrid vehicles courses which can be done either at the dedicated EV training centre at the Milton Keynes head office or on-site at the garage. Already, 40 technicians have completed their IMI Level 3 electric/hybrid vehicle training with more to follow. Josh Whittemore from Elite Garages said:
“Over the last seven months, we have seen a significant uplift in calls from customers for electric vehicle repairs and general advice.”
Preparation Is Key When Servicing Electric Vehicles
As any garage owner will tell you, turning EV customers away is not an option. With the way ownership of electric vehicles is growing, the industry as a whole need to be better prepared. Elite Garages selected the number of vehicle technicians from each site based on the number of EV sales in the local area. For example, due to a high number of Tesla sales in Bournemouth, four vehicle technicians from that branch went for the EV training.
“We need to be prepared. Not only to be able to create a new revenue stream and meet customer demand, but to safeguard our employees and equip them with the relevant skills to work safely on these high voltage vehicles.” (Josh Whittemore)
What Does Servicing Electric Vehicles Entail?
Servicing electric vehicles and PHEVs takes longer than traditional petrol or diesel cars as the high voltage system must first be isolated before technicians can commence any work. This can take between 15 minutes and 1,5 hours depending on the make and model.
Once the high voltage system is off, EV technicians can service the car as they would any other vehicle. This includes checking and topping up fluids, changing the oil, checking brakes and tyres etc. Some of the checks performed during an EV service include the following:
- Checking high voltage battery system health
- Inspect the inverter coolant system for leaks
- Check for brake binding which occurs in EVs as most of the braking process happens through regenerative braking as conventional brakes are used less frequently
- Checking the condition of the high voltage cabling
- Inspect the charging port and cap condition to ensure the car is charging
Top 10 Electric Vehicles In The UK
In 2021, more electric vehicles were sold in the UK compared to the previous five years combined, according to data from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Here are the top-selling electric vehicles in the UK:
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is the company’s long-awaited and much-anticipated entry-level saloon, with sales exceeding all expectations. The vehicle’s excellent range, tech-rich interior, and overall practicality have endeared it to buyers worldwide. Since it was launched, the Tesla Model 3 has broken sales records for electric vehicles in the UK. It wasn’t only the most popular new electric vehicle in 2021, with over 35,000 yearly sales, but it also topped the annual best-selling list of all new automobiles at the end of the year.
Despite being significantly behind Tesla in terms of sales, Kia sold over 12,000 e-Niro SUVs in 2021, thanks to the government’s plug-in car grant. However, the current generation of the e-Niro is expected to be replaced soon by a new model due in mid-2022. With a range of more than 280 miles and a starting price of £32,895, the Kia e-Niro is an excellent electric vehicle that is showing no sign of slowing down.
The final model atop the podium is the Volkswagen ID.3. This EV has won ten industry accolades during 2021 and is widely recognized as one of the most outstanding representations of today’s glorious electric vehicles. The Volkswagen ID.3 has earned high praise for its performance, good battery range, overall comfort and user-friendliness. At the top of the range is the Tour Pro S model with a range of over 330 miles. It also has plenty of space with all the latest technology you’d expect from a modern family hatchback.
Despite being on the market for more than a decade, the Nissan Leaf continues to compete for first place in global EV sales charts, not to mention in the UK. It’s quiet and comfortable, with a starting price of £25,995 and the range is between 168 and 239 miles depending on the model selected. The Nissan Leaf, one of the most popular electric vehicles globally, has been gaining traction as a competent and cost-effective alternative to Tesla’s Model 3, with almost 9,000 units sold in 2021.
The Audi e-tron is the company’s first all-electric vehicle and is available in a range of body styles and with a number of battery and performance choices. Prices start at £62,025 with a driving range of 197-252 miles depending on the model and battery capacity. The Audi e-tron is a refined and practical premium SUV that is proving to be popular in the UK with sales almost topping 7,400 in 2021.
Hyundai Kona Electric
As far as electric vehicles go, the Hyundai Kona crossover has become quite popular due to its overall practicality and 300-mile range, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size. The Kona has been praised for its impressive battery range and practicality, selling 7,199 models in 2021. Using the same exceptional Hyundai Motor Group platform and tech as the Kia e-Niro.
The Electric Mini
With just over 6,600 electric vehicles sold in 2021, this version of the Mini hatchback has received high praise for the upmarket interior. However, it falls short with an unimpressive battery range of 145 miles which is quite low compared to the chart-topping EVs. It is well designed, though, with an upmarket interior and plenty of features.
Another long-standing electric vehicle, like the Nissan Leaf, is the Renault Zoe. It’s a good example of an EV that excels in many ways owing to its excellent range, attractive design, and reasonable cost. The Zoe has an official range of 245 miles, which is pretty good for a hatchback of this size and price range, starting at £27,595. While sales figures reached 5,778 electric vehicles in 2021, the Renault Zoe lost favour with the media when it received a zero-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
Vauxhall Corsa-e – 5605
The conventional Vauxhall Corsa topped Britain’s charts as the most popular car in 2021 selling over 40,000 vehicles. With around 5,605 sales, the electric version is also attracting some attention. It’s no surprise, really, since it’s an affordable EV with low operating costs, high levels of comfort and versatility.
MG ZS EV
The MG ZA, a practical family-sized SUV, rounds off the top ten electric vehicles in the UK with total sales reaching 5,380. Starting at £26,095 the MG ZS might not be the fanciest electric vehicle on the market but it offers tremendous value for money with loads of equipment, a classy interior and a lot of space for its size.
Servicing Electric Vehicles Near Me
Since the ever-increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the need for qualified technicians to service them has also quickly grown. Elite Garages prides itself on having qualified technicians and embraces the move towards a greener future. Our expert technicians are IMI Level 3 trained for electric vehicle system repair and maintenance.
If you are looking for a friendly, professional and reputable centre that services electric vehicles, Elite Garages can help. Our team of EV technicians across the country is standing by to assist in any way they can. Visit the website for more information about what we do or contact your nearest branch about servicing electric vehicles and EV tyres.
* Pricing of vehicles reflected in this article is accurate as of January 2022.