The COVID-19 global pandemic has far reaching impacts on almost every aspect of life, including the practice of routine vehicle maintenance. Social distancing, working from home, and mandated shutdowns all led to a steep decline in the amount of driving the average person does in a week. As such, vehicle counts for routine service and preventative maintenance are down year over year across the globe, and the batteries are discharging every day they sit idle.
Additionally, the new driving behavior is hard on the battery. Instead of driving 20-40 minutes to and from work every day, consumers are driving 5-10 minutes to and from the grocery store once a week. Short and infrequent driving behavior can leave batteries in various states of discharge. In fact, our studies show that leaving lead acid batteries in a state of discharge (80% or lower state of charge) can lead to irreversible damage to the battery’s useful lifespan.
As the world starts to emerge from lockdowns, consumers will begin driving more. However, an abnormally large amount of these vehicles will be carrying batteries in compromised states of charge and health. Our statistical modeling shows a battery replacement spike will likely occur due to the significant decline in preventative maintenance testing and the accumulation of bad batteries.
Therefore, as your vehicle counts start to rise again, test every battery that you see. As a result, you will experience a spike in battery sales. More importantly, you will help your customers avoid a no-start situation.
If you would like to better understand how this trend may impact you, please contact your Midtronics account manager.