MemberSeptember 17, 2021 at 10:47 am
I don’t think they’ve thought through the service problem yet. Elio’s solution clearly came from an MBA not an engineer. By doing a deal with Pep Boys they can claim that they have service everywhere in the country but in reality they won’t have any service. Pep Boys does oil changes and brakes, they don’t have the kind of mechanics that can solve complex problems. They also have zero experience with EVs and unless the corporation want’s to pursue the EV business in a serious way and do deals with multiple manufacturers, not just a no hoper like Elio, and invest in training they can’t possible be a primary service point.
Service is an area where the legacy companies have a huge advantage. They have thousands of dealers and they can force those dealers to invest in the equipment and training necessary. Look at what GM has done with Cadillac, they’ve given their dealers an ultimatum, either invest $200K in EV service and support or get out.
Tesla is going it alone. The only option is Tesla Service Centers, they allow third party body shops but refuse to deal with third party service shops. Everyone loves their cars and their charging network but you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks their service solution is adequate. They are great if you have something simple that a Ranger can do in your driveway, I’ve had my brakes cleaned and tires rotated at home, but if you need an actual repair the service centers are inconveniently located if you are lucky enough to live in a state that has them or out of reach if you live elsewhere.
Aptera isn’t going to be able to build service centers outside of their home region any time soon, they just won’t have the volumes to justify them. They are planning to have Rangers but that’s not a complete solution. I’m thinking that recruiting independent garages that already have the basics like lifts and have a business that sustains them already and providing training to handle them. They will need to limit the number of garages that they support in each state so that they don’t cannibalize the business, and they will need to make sure they are competent. I can see where a younger garage owner who is worried about the long time viability of his business would want to find a way to transition to EVs. There is going to be a massive shake out in the service industry starting in about 10-15 years because EVs will need so much less service than ICEVs, getting on board with EV service now, even if it’s a small part of their business, will pay big dividends in the future.