Is it possible to make money from repairing hybrids or electric vehicles?

13 Sep 2023

Hybrid cars are increasingly visible on European roads. Some of them are no longer covered by the warranty period and their owners are looking for service opportunities in independent workshops. Do garages undertake repairs to cars fitted with high voltage systems?

Take a look at the results of studies carried out in a number of European countries.

How often do garages service hybrid or pure electric cars?
Sales of hybrid and electric cars in Central Europe are growing steadily, although they are still a minority of the total vehicle fleet. When asked whether they undertake repairs on hybrid or electric cars, representatives of independent garages answer in the affirmative in a small percentage of cases. On the other side, there are more than half that do not touch such cars and, in addition, for a third, it is an occasional occurrence that happens once every few months. We are talking about independent workshops operating in Central Europe (CEE). Different results were obtained in a survey among representatives of Western European workshops, represented by Italy and the UK. In this case, only 20% of workshops are those that do not touch hybrid and electric cars.

Are hybrid and electric car repairs a viable business for garage owners?
Representatives of more than 36% of workshops surveyed operating in Central Europe (CEE) believe that repairing hybrid or pure electric cars is or will be profitable in the future. On this issue, the biggest pessimists are the Slovaks, of whom only one in seven sees a profit in repairing these cars.

However, it should be added here that nearly half of the representatives of independent garages (CEE) are unable to comment on the lucrativeness of repairing such vehicles. As with the frequency of repairs, the representatives of the Italian and British garages represent a different view from those operating in Central Europe.

– Is it worth launching electric and hybrid car services in an independent garage today? From the point of view of a garage owner, it would be trivial in this context to elaborate in detail on the arguments about the need to be eco-friendly, to increase revenues by winning new customers and increasing their loyalty, to offer a wider range of – more expensive – services, to create a modern image…,” says Wit Wyborski, CEO of Alliance Automotive Group in Poland. It is certainly significant that the need to invest in equipment and tools, training of electromechanics and diagnosticians, access to data and the right range of parts and technology is beyond the capacity of most individual garages. It is far too early to comprehensively assess the real added value, including the mathematical profitability of servicing electric cars, but in our opinion, it is worth not running away from these challenges but meeting them wisely – adds the Alliance Automotive Group representative.

How does the current handling of hybrid and electric cars correspond to the vision of cost-effectiveness?
Comparing the two presented charts with each other, some interesting conclusions can be drawn. All indications are that car service representatives are seeing the earning potential in repairing such cars. There are at least twice as many people saying that repairs to hybrid or electric cars are cost-effective as there are workshops that regularly carry out such repairs today. Let’s look at the results of the survey a little more broadly. This opinion is confirmed both among workshops that frequently carry out such repairs and those that do so somewhat less frequently.

Even so, a significant percentage of workshop representatives admit that they are currently unable to assess this objectively.


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