Automotive repair shops across the country are essential for keeping vehicles of all shapes and sizes, designed for every application under the sun, moving. With the emergence and increasing popularity of electric vehicles, repair shops now have a decision to make: Is it the right time to invest in EV services? Between necessary new tools, training and shop equipment like charging stations, it isn’t easy to know for sure.
There are two ways to approach answering this question. The first is for shop owners to investigate how many EVs are being driven where they work.
California, which embraced EVs early, is pushing for the most significant emissions restrictions and is the most obvious example of a state where EV investment is likely smart business. As such, it is the largest EV market, with about 36.9% of EVs in the United States in operation there and 35.8% of total U.S. light-vehicle EV registrations from January through September 2022.
Florida is in second place, with 7.4% of light-vehicle EV registrations and 6.9% of EVs in operation. Texas is just behind Florida, with 5.8% of EVs in operation and 6.4% of EV state-level light-vehicle registrations.
For shops operating in any of these states, installing charging stations for your customers is probably a good idea.
The second approach to answering the EV investment question is via a long-term lens. Over the next 5-10 years, billions of federal dollars are being thrown at everything from large-scale charging infrastructure development to grants for EV battery manufacturing. Thirty-five states have signed on for federal assistance under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, of which $7.5 billion is earmarked for EV charging infrastructure across 53,000 miles of highways.
Plus, the Biden Administration has pledged that the government will fund the installation of half a million charging stations. There’s an argument to be made that a new presidential administration could disrupt this, but regardless of whatever political shifts we may see in the U.S. in the coming years, the ball is already rolling. Not to mention, there’s plenty of privately funded infrastructure going in this decade, too. All this points to EV adoption rates continuing to rise.
Even if EVs aren’t commonplace in shops today, demand for these services will grow in most areas of the country. Installing charging stations and training your technicians now will put your shop ahead of the curve and establish you as the go-to shop for EV maintenance in your community down the road.
With the right support and investment, shops can adapt to thrive in this new era of EV transportation.