The National Association for Automotive Training (ANFA) has just released a study on the impact on the automotive sector of declining sales of diesel cars combined with the arrival of electric models.
Faced with climate change, the European Union has established a particularly restrictive roadmap for manufacturers, each of whom must have a maximum average of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer calculated on all sales of their passenger cars. An objective however modulated according to various parameters.
In 2030, the target will drop to 59 grams. This requires brands to develop less and less emitting models, in particular electric (battery and / or hydrogen cell) and hybrids, rechargeable or not. This is a real challenge as customers increasingly turn to heavy cars, such as SUVs.
Another constraint: the end of the marketing in 2040 of models operating with engines fueled with gasoline or diesel.
The aging of the fleet in addition
The maintenance of an electric vehicle is much less burdensome than that of thermal models. “That’s half of the after-sales turnover,” says Jocelyn Gombault, project manager for the automotive service trades observatory set up by ANFA. The switch to gasoline also has a significant impact, as the amount of maintenance bills is 20% higher with diesel.
Constraints and uncertainties drive motorists to keep their cars longer. “We can estimate that the age of vehicles owned in France should reach 12 years on average in 2036”, reports Jocelyn Gombault. All of this will not impact automotive maintenance and repair operators equally.
Dealership workshops will suffer the most from this situation. If they account for 72% in the operations carried out on cars put into circulation less than 2 years ago, the percentage drops to 20% for units aged 10 to 14 years, and even to only 12% beyond . For the benefit of independent mechanical repairers whose share will increase from 8 to 44 and around 55% for the same units.
ANFA has surrounded itself with experts in economic analysis from the firm Feria to imagine 3 scenarios for the development of electric vehicles around 2036. In the first, sales and use of EVs remain limited, forcing the European legislator to release the pressure on builders.
More in line with the projections of the PFA automotive platform, the second trend is giving way to electric cars as technological improvements and the deployment of an efficient charging network continue.
For the third scenario, the investigators adopted the strategy adopted by Volkswagen where electric cars with traction batteries become the norm. The phenomenon increases with the resulting drop in prices on these models.
Taking into account the aging of the rolling stock, electric cars would count in 15 years for 10% under the unfavorable scenario, and 30% in the most dynamic. At this stage, diesel models would only represent 5 to 30% of the market. The impact on turnover would remain fairly moderate overall on the aftermarket, with a drop of 2 to 10%.
Fear about the workforce
It’s more about membership that ANFA is worried about. Would be threatened each year “between 100 and 1,300 jobs until 2036 due to engine changes”, estimates Jocelyn Gombault.
The sliders are even pushed to 700 and 1,900 positions eliminated per year by including other factors that are even more penalizing when they are combined, such as “the decrease in the average mileage traveled, the increasing reliability of vehicles, the economic and health situation,” changes in consumption practices, as well as budgetary and monetary policies ”.
Crossing these projections with the rise in the average age of vehicles, the project manager predicts that “independent repairers have little to fear.” Even in the most optimistic scenario for electric cars, where these professionals would still receive in about fifteen years 4 models with heat engine for 5 vehicles received.
In dealer workshops, on the other hand, the drop would be quite brutal, from 17 to 59% at the end of the period, “due to an influx of young electric vehicles into the aftermarket”. In terms of turnover, losses would be between 6 and 19% in the networks of manufacturers. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, will not be affected by the development of the French car fleet.
What inevitably raises questions in this study is the total absence of projections on the possibilities of job creation that may arise from the development of electric mobility.
Professionals are active or pleading, however, for the automotive industry to develop on this occasion. Already with the retrofit, but also and above all by opening the possibility of intervening on the traction batteries when it becomes obvious that the replacement of a few modules or other elements in the packs is the best solution for the motorist. We are there in the aftermarket as well.
Failure to take this possibility into account, the study appears to be an additional burden against electric vehicles, which manufacturers can use as they see fit.
It also lacks a view of the possible shift of jobs to other sectors, such as battery assembly and recycling, including taking into account the second life use of batteries. No openness to architectures in which EVs help balance the national electricity grid and develop renewable energies.
Yet this is how the general public can better understand the role that electromobility can play in society. It is not all ruin and constraints. It is also opening up to new horizons.