Car services in France do not look very enthusiastically at the revolution in the electric car market, despite the arguments in their favour – environmentally friendly, reliable, silent and economical.
Electric cars require much less intervention from mechanics, since, for example, the wear and tear of the fewer parts that make the engine is greatly reduced, no oil change is needed and brake pads are replaced much less often due to the regenerative braking systems.
“The volume of interventions in electric cars is only half of that in gas-powered cars. In terms of parts, the result is the same,” explains Jocelyn Gombaut, project manager at Observatoire des Métiers des Services de l’Automobile, for Le Figaro.
In 2020, sales of electric cars nearly tripled in France, with the market share now reaching 6.7% according to data from the French Automobile Manufacturers Committee (CCFA). “All of this is worrying, our profession will collapse, thousands or even millions are expected to be made redundant: the entire chain of manufacturing, parts, and maintenance is at a risks of collapsing,” says the owner of an independent service. Beyond the decrease in the volume of activity, professionals in the field are also concerned about the skills they need to acquire to maintain and repair electric cars.
Julien Gouraud, network director at Midas, says he often hears such fears among his partners, but he does not share them. The director of this franchise, which owns 360 outlets, says that “the first stage is the demystification of this technology”. The electric field represents “a development axis already started in Midas (…) Our entrepreneurs already have experience with ‘start and go’ batteries – which is a form of first electrification of the car. There is also the hybrid,” he points out.
However, profound transformations have already begun within the group: “The arrival of the electric models has forced us to change our business model”, admits Julien Gouraud. Thus, the franchise is now trying to specialize in the maintenance of electric car fleets: 800 Smart vehicles in the ShareNow network are thus maintained by Midas in the Parisian region. The company launched a platform in 2020 to share know-how in the maintenance of electric cars. Each partner company who will have problems with an electric car can enter this platform managed by “different profiles, automotive engineers, electronic technicians and such”.
Translation: Ovidiu Harfas