AutoCare garages are proving themselves to be among the most forward thinking in the country when it comes to hybrid repair and servicing.
“Garages need to be aware that this is happening now and they need to get on board early,” explains Steve Carter of automotive training company Exponentia.
“There will be huge advantages for being ahead of the curve when it comes to hybrid technology.”
According to IMI statistics, around 1,000 technicians across the UK are qualified to IMI level three for hybrid vehicles and, using his own statistics based on delivered training, Steve Carter has calculated that large proportion of that total are employed by AutoCare garages.
Maria McCullough, network manager for AutoCare and Approved Garages, confirmed that nearly 500 technicians have been qualified for hybrid engines through AutoCare since 2012 alone.
AutoCare say the business benefits of being one of the few local garages with expertise in servicing and repairing hybrid vehicles are clear.
Achieving an IMI level three certificate for hybrid means a technician is qualified to service and repair a hybrid vehicle and replace a high voltage component.
Maria said: “Part of the reason the public trusts AutoCare garages and gives them such excellent feedback is the high standard of technical expertise AutoCare mechanics demonstrate.
“This has long been true with traditional petrol and diesel engines and, as these figures show, it is increasingly the case for hybrid as well.”
“This trend isn’t going to stop,” Steve said, “and at the moment the manufacturers are happy for everyone to believe that only dealers can properly service hybrid vehicles.
“The more technicians that are trained in hybrid, the quicker we can change that perception.”
Electric car sales are expected to be boosted by a £40 million government package to improve the electric vehicle infrastructure in Bristol, London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Dundee, the North East, Oxford and York.
It’s thought the funding will see a further rise in electric vehicle sales, adding further to the 50 per cent rise in electric vehicle sales last year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want to see thousands more greener vehicles on our roads and I am proud to back this ambition with £40 million to help the UK become international pioneers of emission cutting technology.
“The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”
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