EVs Will Push Out Older Techs
I read the news story “GM Conducts Electric Vehicle Training for NYC Mechanics” and wanted to comment.
I remember as a technician (mostly at GM dealerships) when fuel injection was relatively new, and that technology pushed out a certain segment of the technician pool. I also remember the same thing happening when OBD-II was made mandatory in 1996; this affected a larger group of aging technicians who could not or would not assimilate to the new way of automotive diagnostic and repairs. The difference is that those two examples were relatively benign shifts in automotive technology.
The EV push is a massive departure from the known. I will admit, as a long-time certified master technician with the utmost confidence in what I do, the idea of transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicle maintenance and repair strategies scares me. I feel this will push out the largest group of technicians we have ever seen.
Superintendent, Fleet Services, City of Nampa, Idaho
A Drastic Change in KPIs
The editorial “How Are Delivery Delays Affecting Your Data?” ended with an interesting yet informative question. Have your benchmarks been affected, and what are you doing now that you can no longer meet them?
Short answer — yes! After we calculated our key performance indicators from last year and prior years, our downtimes have increased by two whole days on average from prior-year 2020. This is huge! This increase reduces fleet availability, increases end-user frustration, and ties up much-needed bays because repairs need to be made before the vehicle can be moved. It is causing a logjam on the floor, and we continue to look for ways to mitigate this. We have increased inventory by 35% year over year. We, too, have resorted to eBay, Amazon, and other unorthodox parts searches to find much-needed replacement parts.
We have informed all our customers again and again about the parts delays and are often in constant communication with all our user agencies.
These delays also cause significant overtime for our technicians. When a glut of parts arrives, we work feverishly, keeping staff on the floor to make repairs, all in an effort to get the units out the door.
We manage controlled chaos when we can’t rely on our normal suppliers for contracted parts turnaround times. Contract requirements sort of go out the window and we spend a great deal of time in the Parts Department tracking much-needed parts.
Thank you for bringing this issue to light as we work toward normalcy in the coming 12 to 24 months. Keep the faith — this too shall pass!
Fleet Administrator, City of Columbus, Ohio