Becoming service ready for the transition to Electric Vehicles can feel like a daunting task. The most pressing question is determining your service strategy for the battery pack. Due to the battery pack’s size, cost, and high voltage it creates service challenges which have resulted in OEMs implementing different service strategies across the globe.
To help point you in the right direction we have identified and described the various service strategies we have encountered.
The “Flying doctor” approach
These are battery service specialists that travel to the stranded electric vehicle, with the goal of getting them back on the road. This strategy can be an extremely costly affair: 1 or 2 technicians, repair tools, food, housing, transportation, a replacement vehicle for the client. The costs add up very quickly with each service event. And the customer may not always be happy relinquishing their vehicle for a prolonged period of service time. It may be an option for OEs with a small presence in the EV space, but it is not scalable for OEs with plans to release many electric vehicle models in their product and service lineup.
Replace the pack
Another option is to simply replace and return the entire high voltage pack. This allows you to avoid pack level service at dealer locations. However, the pack being the most expensive component on the vehicle as well as heavy to ship, makes this option extremely expensive and time consuming for the customer. It is also important to consider local regulations around shipping electric vehicle batteries. Many countries have strict laws around shipping hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. Like the Flying Doctor approach, this option can seem like a reasonable first step, however it is not scalable for OEs with goals to transition their product lineup to electric vehicle models.
Return the car
Then there is the option to return the entire vehicle back to a specialized OEM workshop where the vehicle will be serviced. This is by far the most expensive and time consuming solution, and simply not practical for OEs with long term electric vehicle plans.
Service the pack
The most cost effective and easily scalable service strategy, takes place right in the workshop. When talking about servicing the pack, there are four primary service applications: 1) diagnose and replace pack and/or module issues within the pack 2) balance new modules after replacement; 3) discharge packs in the even on a collision 4) quickly recharge (ie jumpstart) hybrid electric batteries used to crank the vehicle. With training and the right equipment, this option is a viable solution to many OE’s as they are searching for a fast, safe, cost effective, and scalable service strategy.
Midtronics is here to help you become service ready for electric vehicle batteries. As the leading global supplier of EV and HEV dealer service equipment for batteries, we have products, technology, and expertise to help you quickly and safely prepare for the transition to electric vehicle service.
We know the path. We paved it.