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Gloucestershire Business News

Electric car surge needs 'new way of thinking'

Garages and workshops need to get ready for a surge in electric cars that will require 'a completely different way of thinking'.

The automotive trade is being warned that one-in-five cars on UK roads could be electrically-powered by 2025.

Analyst GiPA has made the prediction using its 'car parc' forecast tool. It says electrified vehicles will represent between 19% and 21% of UK passenger cars in just four years' time.

Matt Cleevely, managing director of Gloucestershire-based Cleevely Motors, said: "It's a completely different way of thinking. An electric vehicle is more like a device like your mobile phone. You need to think about charging before you go out, planning your journey and garages need to give advice about how best to look after a battery.

"It's going to be a massive change for our trade in order to keep up with modern technology, upskilling the workforce and understanding the way in which electric vehicles work.

"You've got to understand the cars themselves as a whole but also how drivers use them. It's a big change."

His firm - based in Cheltenham - has been selling and maintaining electric vehicles for nearly four years.

GiPA has included mild hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models in its estimates. Many of these use similar high-voltage components to fully electric models.

Quentin Le Hetet, GiPA UK director, said: "It is becoming essential for aftermarket players of all kinds to integrate electrified vehicles into their medium to long term business plans.

"They need to understand how this will affect them, and what their response should be to this new segment in terms of equipment, staff, and training.

"It's equally important for them to remember that traditional ICE [internal combustion engine] cars will continue to be a significant part of the market after 2030."

The growth in sales of hybrids and electric car sales has been accelerating and the UK government has set out a target for a ban on traditional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

The Institute of the Motor Industry says only 5% of garages and dealerships are appropriately qualified to work on electric vehicles.

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