The wheels of electric vehicles are rolling us into an emission-free future so specific attention needs to be given to how the tyre industry is preparing to manage this uplift, according to the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA).
With projected population growth of approximately one million people by 2040, Ireland’s transport system will experience significant growth. A significant challenge with this lies in balancing transportation growth with decarbonisation.
The latest Climate Action Plan aims for nearly a million electric and low-emission vehicles on Irish roads. This is prompting tyre companies to invest in technologies, equipment, and training to cater to this expanding market.
With this expected increase in electric vehicles, the repair and service businesses in the tyre industry will need to innovate to remain at the forefront of new technologies. The tyre industry is well placed to improve competitiveness by innovating and investing in this space to provide service maintenance and education, the ITIA says.
Most first-time electric vehicle owners will have a very basic knowledge of EV maintenance when they drive their new car off the forecourt. And while most of these vehicles are still under warranty, owners are inevitably starting to turn to their local garage and tyre fitter for both general advice and remedial work.
Fleet managers can also be supported in navigating the rapid developments around EV implementation in understanding how to select the correct tyre for EV efficiency, braking performance, range, and mileage. The ITIA says it is acutely aware that its members need to be ready for this change and will be including the latest trends in this area at its conference next February.
“We have also embarked on a tailored tyre EV training programme to ensure that we will be best equipped with the knowledge that will be required to service this new and emerging market,” Sue O’Neill, CEO, ITIA commented.
According to reports in the UK, electric vehicles are twice as likely to suffer from a wheel or tyre related breakdown than their petrol or diesel equivalents. Why might you ask? Due to the weight of heavy batteries, electric vehicles are often up to 20-30 per cent heavier than their non-electric counterparts.
While this a good thing for our planet, these heavy batteries will put greater pressure and load on tyres, leading to an increase in the number of repairs needed.
Fitting the wrong type of tyre on an electric vehicle could result in loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident. Consequently, tyre fitters and technicians working within the tyre industry need training to ensure they are familiar with the new technology and can work with it safely.
The ITIA will also be focussing on educating the consumer in relation to the importance of their tyre management for range, efficiency and overall wear and tear. EV driving is not a future phenomenon, it’s here now.
Obtaining the appropriate level of training, will ensure that technicians hold the relevant skillset but as important, it will safeguard them against injury. Electric vehicles are high voltage vehicles and the industry and employers have a duty of care to ensure vehicle technicians have the necessary skills to work safely on, or around EVs. There is a whole new level of education needed around electric vehicles from the consumer through to the garage owner.
Questions tyre technicians need to ask are:
- What issues impact the right tyre choice for an EV?
- Are there specific tyre markings tyre technicians should be aware of?
- What do tyre technicians need to be aware of when fitting tyres to EVs?
- Can tyre technicians suggest alternatives to customers if expense or supply becomes an issue?
- Are there any differences to traditional tyre fitting methods that tyre technicians need to be aware of?
- What training is available to tyre technicians?
The ITIA has teamed up with Autotech Training to provide an IMI accredited EV Level 1 Award that is tailored to the tyre industry. This training will answer the questions above and equip tyre technicians with the knowledge and confidence to be able to carry out his or her job in a competent and safe manner, ensuring that all parties are happy.
If you would like to know more about the ITIA training programme or indeed other areas such as Tyre Technician programmes or REACT visit the website itia.ie.
The next EV training is scheduled to take place next Tuesday, 26th September and details are as follows:
Course: Level 1 Electric Vehicle
Course provider: Autotech Training Location: Athlone Training Centre, Garrycastle, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Member Cost: € 450 per person To Book: email@example.com