It's not surprising to any of us in the automotive industry today that the "revolution" of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles continues to grow and "evolve" each year. In addition, many automotive manufacturers are already setting future dates to "retool" their plants and going fully electric on all their vehicles.
Each year going forward, we will be seeing new models, platforms and even more manufacturers getting into the Electric Vehicle Industry worldwide. There are currently over 5.6 million EV's on the road today worldwide as 2018 experienced the biggest EV surge of 2.2 million units alone, up from 3.4 million up until then.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are also on the rise with a Compound Annual Growth Rate, (CAGR) of 38% in 2021 alone. In addition, Bloomberg Energy Finance is predicting that by 2040, 58% of the vehicles on the road predicted to be Electric Vehicles, leaving just 42% of the vehicles predicted on the road as combustion engine vehicles.
So, how does this new EV Revolution translate down to our role in the Parts Department?
There are still many questions out there for many of us as to what parts we will be selling with all these new component driven vehicles hitting the road. Many Parts Managers believe that we will be reduced to selling just batteries, tires, brakes and a few filters as there will be fewer moving parts on these Electric Vehicles.
In all actuality, that thought couldn't be further from the truth as EV's will still require maintenance and replacement parts. In addition, for at least the near future, there will still be combustion engine vehicles on the road requiring the same maintenance and repair parts.
This new technology will also require skilled technicians to provide the maintenance and repairs, just at a higher level. That being said, the diversity and "breadth" of the parts inventory will, in my opinion, be even more important than it ever has.
No matter what parts we stock, we will still have to "do the math" and stock the right parts at the right time even though they just may cost more. Every vehicle requires a power source and way to transmit that power down to a driveline to make it move and that requires parts and components.
So!...What kind of parts are we talking about in this EV Revolution?
Let's start with the Anatomy of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicles...
All Electric Vehicles are manufactured with the same components required to enable the power source to be transferred to a powertrain and/or differential with some additional components required for Hybrid Electrical Vehicles.
Whether a combustion engine with gas or diesel fuel, electric motor, or power inverter, power still has to be generated from a source and transferred to a driveline or differential to make the vehicle move. The idea has always been the same and it's just the source of where the energy, or fuel comes from.
Here's the basic list of components required for all Electric Vehicles...
- Power Electronics Controller
- DC/DC Converter
- Electric Traction Motor
- Transmission, or Power Converter
- Traction Battery Pack
- HV Batteries/Wiring/Cables
- Auxiliary Battery
- Thermal/Cooling System
- On Board Charger
- Charging Port
- Electric Generator
- Internal Combustion Engine - Spark Ignited
- Exhaust/Emission System
- Fuel Tank/Fuel Filler