Nine garage staff attended an informal action-packed day with Cleevely EV Managing Director Matt Cleevely and top technical trainer Alistair Finch, investigating the equipment, space and business planning needed to successfully integrate EV service and repair into their independent garage businesses.
“It was a relaxed format and we kept it varied with short presentations along with lots of practical demonstrations within the workshop with plenty of opportunities to ask questions,” said Matt. “All the garages were pleasantly surprised to learn how simple it can be to develop and grow profitable EV work”.
Most visitors were ‘typical independent garages’ of two to five staff and were relieved to hear they wouldn’t need a dedicated service bay or daily high voltage work or huge investments in capital equipment to begin. Cleevely EV instead advocate using a flexible layout to maximise workshop efficiency.
For Cleevely themselves, EV service and repair work still makes up a 35% minority of workshop jobs – but brings significant benefits. First, the growth rate is exceptionally strong and secondly, the quality of the work is excellent; analysis shows higher average invoices value, better profit margins and improved customer retention too.
“Motorists seem prepared to travel further to find a reliable EV garage and the mind-set then seems to be more about getting all the advisories for the year done in one visit,” said Matt.
“There’s less need for garages to compete on price and it appears that because EV cars are generally cheaper for motorists to run, they are more willing and able to pay for recommended maintenance.”
The day explored these differences in motorists’ buying patterns, as well as the different type of work garages can expect – with tyres being worn much more quickly for example. Attending garages had travelled to Cheltenham from St Helen’s, Walsall and beyond to demystify EV and hear how to bring work in and where to find support.