Preparing Your Service Department for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles

December 16, 2022

Team ACV




Preparing Your Service Department for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles

ACV facts & figures

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The undercarriage of a white SUV getting serviced on

As the U.S. government moves to become carbon neutral by 2050¹ and General Motors works toward its plan of offering exclusively electric vehicles by 2035², the writing on the wall becomes clearer than ever: The future is electric. This change is good news for the planet, but it leaves auto dealers to navigate the transition to electric vehicles (EV) by themselves. Electric vehicle repair is significantly different from the work needed for traditional cars, and even hybrids demand new skills and training. Adapting to an electric future will take work and demand flexibility, but it also offers many opportunities to dealers and their service departments.

What the Future Holds for Dealership Service Departments

Over the past few years, many dealership service departments have begun the transition to electric vehicle repair readiness, while others have put off making the necessary and expensive changes. For the moment, both decisions have their benefits, but it’s becoming increasingly clear to industry professionals that dealerships that aren’t servicing electric vehicles will eventually fall behind. 

As the market share of EVs and hybrids across the country rises, dealerships will notice a steady decline in demand for certain services. Hybrids only require oil changes every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, and electric vehicles don’t use motor oil at all and will never need an oil change. This by itself threatens to cut out a major piece of a service department’s income. However, this isn’t the only area where the departments will see less demand for work. Most EVs and hybrids now come with regenerative braking, which reduces strain and wear on rotors and brake pads and leads to less demand for brake jobs. 

Additionally, electric vehicles tend to have fewer delicate moving parts than gas vehicles. This means an EV car will generally need less maintenance, fewer repairs, and less care over the years. 

This doesn’t spell the end for service departments, however. Electric vehicle repair will still be necessary and crucial; it just won’t look the same as traditional repair. The transition to electric vehicles means service departments need to adapt their services and make them more enticing to draw in customers who will visit less frequently. 

How Service Departments Can Transition to EVs

Before a dealership can begin servicing electric vehicles at all, it needs to ensure its technicians are fully trained in electric vehicle repair. Some large OEMs, such as Hyundai³, offer training programs to get their affiliates up to speed, but many dealerships may need to take the initiative to seek out opportunities for their technicians to learn the ins and outs of these new cars. 

But training is only one part of the puzzle. A newly trained technician can’t begin work until the department’s facilities are appropriately upgraded and prepared for EVs. This means new hardware, new tools, new computer systems, and sometimes even new spaces. If your department will be removing batteries from electric vehicles, you’ll need an area where technicians can safely work on high-voltage equipment. You’ll also want to install a few charging stations. These allow your technicians to make the necessary repairs without worrying about the car battery dying, and they entice customers who will want to take advantage of a free charge. 

Preparing your facility for electric vehicle repair could cost upwards of $250,000—and the upgrades may take a few years to pay for themselves⁴. In the long run, these changes will help a dealership survive and even thrive during the transition to electric vehicles. 

How Dealerships Can Benefit From The Transition to Electric Vehicles

To successfully navigate the transition to servicing electric vehicles, dealerships will need to change what services they prioritize. Electric vehicles and hybrids still need service, but it looks different than the service gas vehicles need. Because of the extra weight from heavy electric batteries, dealers can expect to see increasing demand for new tires. The extra weight causes wear to build up faster, meaning EV tires can wear out about 20% faster than those on a traditional vehicle⁵. 

Dealerships can also take advantage of the change by proactively hiring technicians who want to work with EVs. The reality is that EV maintenance will look much different than traditional maintenance, and the people doing the work may look different, too. EVs will need systems updates and software troubleshooting that is more in the wheelhouse of engineers and programmers. By adding software specialists to your team, you can stay ahead of the curve as cars’ needs change. 

Preparing Your Dealership for the Electric Future

As more drivers transition to electric vehicles, you want to be sure your entire business is ready to keep up with demand. A well-prepared service team gets you halfway there. ACV can help you get your lot and sales team up to speed. Our auction platform makes it easy to find and bid on quality used electric vehicles, and we make it easy to get a clear picture of every vehicle’s specs and condition.

Sign up today and build your automotive wish list.



1. Daly, M. (8 December 2021). Biden order would make U.S. government carbon neutral by 2050. PBS NewsHour. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from

 2. Weyland, M. (28 January 2021). General Motors plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035. CNBC. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from

3. HMG Newsroom (8 July 2022). Hyundai Motor Hosts ‘EV Tech Lab’ Global Electric Vehicle Maintenance Workshop. Hyundai Motor Group. Retrieved December 12, 2022 from

4. Neal, B. and Freitas, N. (2 June 2022). How to Prepare Your Dealership to Service More EVs. Modern Tire Dealer. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from

5. Banks, M. (7 April 2022). Tech: Why Don’t Tires Last as Long on an EV? Clean Fleet Report. Retrieved December 12, 2022 from