Fleet News

SMR: Equipping dealers to service EVs

For vehicle manufacturers, investing in electric vehicle technology is only part of the challenge to entice fleet customers seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of their businesses.

In producing a hybrid, a car with two engines has been built, so en extra level of experise in needed among those tasked with maintaining the vehicles.

Sales of hybrids have been increasing strongly, particularly as more manufacturers introduce the technology and add more hybrid cars to their model ranges.

Meanwhile, although sales are still slow, electric vehicle (EV) registrations are growing at a much stronger rate, demonstrating a greater appetite among fleets where the benefits of the technology are clear.

Growing sales is increasing the urgency with which manufacturers have to ensure that technicians in the franchised dealer network are trained and equipped to handle service, maintenance and repair (SMR) needs.

Every hybrid or electric vehicle carries a piece of potentially dangerous high-voltage equipment on board.

Toyota was the first company to launch a mass-produced hybrid car. The company has its own training process for its technicians called the Team 21 Accreditation Programme.

This includes all the training they need to work on its hybrid vehicles and the course is updated if there’s a need when new vehicles are launched.

After completing the training, Toyota and Lexus’s technicians working at its dealerships are accredited by the company to work on its vehicles.

A Toyota spokesman said: “The briefing for the training is passed on to us via our European headquarters in Brussels and it takes place at our dealerships nationwide.

“If any new servicing tools are required to work on the vehicles, this is when there will be a master class in how to use them. Hybrids are the norm for us; we have total confidence in the product and for this reason Toyota provides an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the hybrid battery and components.

"For Lexus, we provide a five-year or 60,000-mile warranty."

Toyota covers the rest of the vehicle with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty, while Lexus offers a three-year/60,000-mile warranty.
Toyota and Lexus hybrid cars – like its petrol and diesel vehicles – are initially serviced after one year or 10,000 miles and subsequently receive a major service after 20,000 miles.For Lexus GS and IS 300 cars, this is 12,500 miles.

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