FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new IDC Manufacturing Insights survey of more than 2,000 global automotive professionals reveals a significant gap between what service technicians assert they need in terms of safety in servicing electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs) and what original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are doing to meet these needs. According to the new study, conducted in collaboration with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), while service technicians are concerned about the potential impact electric and hybrid electric vehicles might have on their safety, OEMs do not have as high concerns as technicians. Furthermore, within OEM survey respondents, half in management roles expect service safety in EVs will improve compared to only about 25% of designers and service information developers.
As the number of hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles continue to grow – IDC Energy Insights estimates that there will be over 2.7 million plug-in electric vehicles worldwide by 2015 – so do the challenges of servicing and repairing them effectively and safely. According to the new survey, there is also a gap in OEM and technician opinions about the efficacy of service tools to ensure technician safety such as training, safety instructions, and service manuals. And, while many OEMs are aligning initiatives to close gaps, others do not have such plans. IDC Manufacturing Insights believes that the industry as a whole needs to focus activities to provide technicians with better information and tools to improve service performance and safety.
The still relatively small number of HEVs and EVs on the road today mean that most technicians have had limited exposure to electric powertrain technologies, but as EV technology proliferates and complexity advances, the importance of accurate and up-to-date service information and continual safety of service technicians will increase. In fact, according to the new report, compared to those at dealerships, technicians at independent repair facilities are appreciably less prepared to handle the safety challenges stemming from new vehicle technologies. IDC Manufacturing Insights suggests that software and service support tool providers will have an opportunity to hone their wares in order to help management provide timely, accurate safety information to their technicians.
"Electric and hybrid vehicles employ high voltage drivetrain batteries and the required charging systems will potentially have a profound impact on the safety of service technicians in the field," said Sheila Brennan, program manager, Aftermarket and Service Strategies at IDC Manufacturing Insights. "Our study found that the service information provided by OEMs does not optimally meet the needs of service technicians. And while many OEMs are working to improve service and safety information, some of these initiatives may be misaligned with how the technicians themselves perceive their needs."
IDC Manufacturing Insights will hold a complimentary webinar on October 25th at 12:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time to discuss the study findings, discuss potentially critical deficiencies in OEM-provided tools and technologies, and provide recommendations to industry stakeholders to better ensure the safety of technicians in servicing electric and hybrid vehicles. Please visit IDC Manufacturing Insights' events page for details.
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About IDC Manufacturing Insights
IDC Manufacturing Insights assists manufacturing businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing asset intensive, brand oriented, technology oriented, and engineering oriented manufacturing industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-mi.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-988-7900. Visit the IDC Manufacturing Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/manufacturing.