Skip to the content

Workshops already EV ready – or getting there: AAAA

Australian auto workshops are actively preparing for the future of electric vehicles (EVs), with 50 per cent already EV-ready or investing in skills and equipment, according to the Australia-First 2023 Future Readiness Index research.

Years of hybrid sales by the likes of Toyota mean electrified vehicles are now regularly presenting  at workshops
Years of hybrid sales by the likes of Toyota mean electrified vehicles are now regularly presenting  at workshops

The national survey, conducted by Fifth Quadrant for the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) aimed to determine the readiness of local workshops for upcoming market changes and their stance on technological changes. 

50 per cent of our market is either future-ready or actively preparing

AAAA government relations and advocacy director Lesley Yates

AAAA government relations and advocacy director Lesley Yates addressed misconceptions regarding the industry’s EV readiness. “As an industry, we have been dealing with assumptions around our EV readiness, misunderstandings about attitudes towards EVs, and questions around what kind of regulation or oversight is needed,” she said.

The research, the first of its type ever commissioned, measured 36 data points across the themes of business management, tools, EVs, and skills, to rate workshops with an overall rating out of 100. Based on the scores, four groups were identified, reflecting their mindset and willingness to invest in future trends and technologies.

The findings revealed a significant portion of Australian workshops that are either EV-ready or actively investing in future readiness. In fact, 10 per cent of workshops are already equipped to service EVs, while others are prioritising the acquisition of skills and equipment to create a safe and productive working environment.

AAAA government relations and advocacy director Lesley Yates
AAAA government relations and advocacy director Lesley Yates

Ms Yates clarified that workshops not currently investing in EV readiness are not “EV rejectors” but are simply waiting for it to make more commercial sense in their specific markets. 

As Australia’s national fleet  is projected to still comprise 90 per cent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in 2030, even if EV sales reach as high as 50 per cent by then, it is understandable that some are keeping their powder dry.

Ms Yates explained that the majority of workshops are tuned into the changes coming with EVs and are actively preparing for the future. “Together, this sees 50 per cent of our market either future-ready or actively preparing,” she said.

The research also debunked the stereotype that the auto industry is behind the times. 

Ms Yates highlighted that “before now, no one had a sense for how many workshops were gearing up for EV, as no one had this data.

“But now we do, and it proves what we have been saying – we are a sophisticated industry, one that is highly skilled, equipped, and future-focused.”

She further emphasised that all customers can access expert servicing and repair for their vehicles, regardless of their powertrain. “What this means is while we welcome government assistance and there are certainly areas the AAAA wants to work on with our government partners, any calls for introducing regulation on something we are already doing safely and successfully, and any pushes for members of other industries (such as electricians) to be tasked with servicing and repairing cars, are really not required,” said Ms Yates.

The online survey, conducted between July and August 2023, included automotive workshop decision-makers from various business sizes within the AAAA membership and the wider automotive industry across Australia. 

Its findings have important implications for the industry, as Ms Yates explained: “Overall, what we can take away from this is that when it comes to the topic of EV readiness, the majority of our workshops are tuned into what is coming and getting ready, so consumers and government can trust that automotive workshops are preparing for the future.

“I am pleased to report many of our workshops are still placing a focus on the safety and emissions of our existing ICE vehicles at the same time as they are preparing for the future.”

With a strong focus on upskilling, equipment acquisition, and future readiness, workshops are well-equipped to meet the demands of the evolving automotive market. 

“Our industry, our workshops, and their technicians are experts in their field, constantly learning and investing in skills and tools, and ideally placed to continue servicing EVs and hybrids, as they have been for many years,” said Ms Yates.

“It is clear automotive technicians are the right choice when it comes to who should be servicing and repairing EVs, and not only are we ready, but we are also only going to become increasingly more so.”

Free Industry News

Stay up to date with the latest industry news with our free monthly newsletter!