Maintenance and mechanics have been a hot topic in recent years across fleet and mobility, but not always in a good way. A global mechanic shortage existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued as business is returning to higher levels of operation thanks to vaccinations and reduced safety protocols. As cars turn more and more into computers, mechanics are finding that their skillset is also changing, making the need for growth and continued training in the industry more important than ever. While this may seem daunting, there is hope on the horizon.
With uncertainty still looming in automotive maintenance, now is the time to think outside of the traditional garage to build a strategy that positions your fleet for the future.
There are major considerations that have to be made for maintenance specialists in the automotive industry. Three items jump out in the year 2021, as vehicles become more advanced and electric vehicles (EVs) rapidly gain popularity. When looking to plan for your garage, consider how education, resources, and infrastructure might influence your fleet roadmap.
Developing a knowledge base around emerging technology in maintenance is not just advisable, it’s critical, and not just for EVs. Today’s vehicles are largely computer-based, so a mechanic’s education from even 10 years ago could be close to obsolete. Investing in training and education opportunities means a focused and driven future. Consider these options when researching your training resources:
- Accredited certifications like the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which require upkeep and a regular commitment to maintain
- EV training specifically, like the Tesla START training program or the ASE hybrid education course
- Safety information and education for everyone in the garage who might be exposed to EVs and their high voltage machinery
An education is nothing without the proper tools and resources in-hand to drive those skills. That’s why a full-service, modern mechanic requires an investment in new materials to get the job done. The future of mechanic resources looks like:
- Specialized EV machinery, like resistance meters
- Insulated tools and machinery to protect against EV voltage
- Advanced computer technology to work alongside new development in vehicle tech
- Stocked parts inventory for digital engine enhancements
EVs are the future of automotive, but they’re not the only reality. When planning your maintenance approach for the future, it’s important to be cognizant that traditional fuel sources aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
The key is balancing your maintenance and vehicle space to fit a changing automotive industry. You can do that by making sure your maintenance strategy checks all these boxes:
- Space for charging stations
- Planned access to traditional fueling resources
- An efficient energy grid for your building to power any EV or hybrid vehicles
- A considerate structure that allows for the evolution of fleets into the future
If a major maintenance overhaul isn’t in the works for your garage, now might be the opportunity to consider a garage network. ARI’s Garage Management System does the background work for our fleets, providing customers with a web of both in-house and external repair facilities that can tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
How else can you plan for your fleet future? Check out our data management whitepaper to learn how you can predict and prevent any bumps in the road.