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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Feel the need

Date: Friday 15 July 2022

Maverick Diagnostics feels the need; The need, for greater training provision to help the aftermarket to get techs up to speed on EVs and hybrids. With the cross-industry staffing shortfall running into the thousands as more electric and hybrid vehicles join the roads, many organisations across the industry are hearing the call to action. With this in mind, Maverick Diagnostics has just thrown the doors open at its brand-new Automotive Training Academy.

Tucked away on an industrial estate outside Wrexham, just a few minutes from their H.Q, the centre will be offering a two-day IMI electric/hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement course, the nationally recognised IMI accredited Level 2 and Level 3(combined). The IMI-accredited centre received its official opening on Monday 11 July, with the ribbon cut by IMI Chair and OPUS IVS MD Kevin Finn. The IMI is fully backing the launch, and looking to encourage everyone that signs up to join the IMI TechSafe Register too.

Commenting on the opening, Kevin Finn said:

“It's great to see that in this area where there wasn't the ability to get access to EV and hybrid training even where there's a high population of vehicles, that this has been opened.”
On the opportunity, Kevin observed: “Even I thought the entry level into servicing EVs and hybrids was really high. What I've discovered is that it's in the hundreds of pounds and the training cost itself is moderate. I believe you can actually qualify and have you garage ready for basic servicing at Level Three for electric vehicles, for probably less than £1,000 including the training. That's been, even for me, quite a surprise.”

He continued:

“I think we have to really pay attention to this now because the number of vehicles that are out there that require our attention is huge, and many in the aftermarket are missing the opportunity. With the number of EVs and hybrids out there versus the small number of technicians, there seems to be quite a large opportunity for the forward-thinking garage."

Kevin added:

“The aftermarket are currently missing out, and they need to take advantage of this massive opportunity.”

This was part of the reasoning behind opening the centre for Maverick Diagnostics M.D Andy Brooke, who said:

“Many garages still don’t understand the opportunity at all. Some people still don't believe that EV and hybrid will arrive. Well, clearly every TV ad for a car mentions EV and hybrid. It’s here now and it’s here to stay.”

He continued:

“Myself and my team along with the OPUS IVS team have been looking at the EV and hybrid market for several years now. There's a huge opportunity, not only to service and maintain these vehicles once people have been correctly trained, but also with areas like refurbishment of batteries, testing of batteries, assisting customers with problems. Take for example the heating and ventilation problems that you get on these vehicles. If you have a hole in the condenser on a ICE car, all that would happen would be that your air con would stop working. However, on an EV or a hybrid, the vehicle will actually shut down. There are massive opportunities for training, massive opportunities for the future for garages to get involved with many areas and of course they need to be IMI Techsafe registered.”

According to Andy, getting qualified should not be viewed as an administrative issue for garages, they should think of it as part of the marketing armoury:

“Having a certificate will pull customers to your workshop.” After that, another factor that Andy is keen to highlight is that the investment for garages for getting into EVs may be far lower than they realise. “Once they've got their qualifications at Level 3 and Level 4, how much do they actually need?  Simply put, we've got a plastic insulated tool tray that cost £44. They then need a rubber mat to stand on, awesome gloves, preferably high insulation gloves with dating. Lastly they need some insulated spanners and a multi meter. Total investment is probably going to be under £600.
“It's only when you get to removing and refitting batteries and components that you're going to need to a clear floor vehicle and battery lifting platform, which would probably set you back another £3,000. You may already have a clear floor transmission lift. The bottom line is that it's a lot less than you think. Once they realise, garages are going to jump onto it. However, they don't see them yet as an opportunity. Unfortunately they see them as a bit of a hindrance which they're running away from. Once a vehicle is safely isolated, there's no voltage to electrocute you.
“There's an opportunity in the future remove to batteries for refurbishing and to remove and refurbish components on the vehicle. After all, these cars are going to have a much longer lifespan than the average petrol or diesel vehicle. Not only that, they can be a few issues with hybrid vehicles where they can wear out the engines. All together there’s actually quite a bright future for the aftermarket.”

IMI Techsafe
The IMI will be encouraging all those who attend to sign up to the Techsafe Register at the same time. IMI TechSafe is professional recognition within the IMI Professional Register that highlights professionalism and safe working practice around EVs as well as other systems like ADAS.

IMI Business Development Manager Michelle Barrett said:

“The IMI Techsafe scheme is government endorsed and is a minimum standard set by an industry-wide group. Employers have a legal duty of care to ensure that employers are safe working around vehicles and also to make sure they are competent and qualified. Otherwise, if there is an accident, the employer will be liable. Once a technician is registered, the business can display the logos. There is a publicly searchable database and anyone can check this.”

For more information on Maverick Diagnostics’ new Automotive Training Academy and the courses available, visit: