Thursday 20 January 2022

Prepare for electric, says ZF Aftermarket

Image: ZF

ZF Aftermarket is calling on the commercial vehicle sector – including motor factors, workshops and suppliers – to ensure they are well prepared for the mass electrification of vehicles.

The company, which is a major player in the hybrid and electric sectors, says its holistic system solutions allow vehicles to “see, think and act”, enabling it to anticipate industry challenges and prepare its partners at an early stage to adapt to changes – while offering solutions which it says will be pivotal in the transition period for the HGV and LCV markets.

“It’s ZF’s aim to help the aftermarket understand the challenges ahead and to work with its partners to ensure that the workshops are ready and prepared for future mobility,” said ZF’s UK CV expert, James O’Gara.

At the moment, most commercial EVs are buses operating in cities due to distance travelled per charge, points out the firm, with some electric trucks used for shorter city deliveries; however, the number of hybrid but also battery operated electric models is increasing, and with it the need for service and repairs.

A key message being emphasised by ZF is that, without the correct training, technicians are not allowed to touch an electric or hybrid vehicle – a rule which even applies to simple maintenance work on conventional vehicle components.

The company highlights its ability to leverage its first-hand knowledge to offer the relevant technical skills to its workshop partners in the aftermarket. Following the recent acquisition of Wabco, ZF now also offers an expanded product and service portfolio for commercial vehicles in the aftermarket.

Through its technical training initiative, ZF offers courses which allow workshops to acquire the comprehensive knowledge necessary to deal with Next Generation Mobility. The training of staff within ZF working on its own technology has enabled a competitive advantage when it comes to educating the wider audience, the company contends.

ZF Aftermarket customer and IFA member, Dale Terry, sales director at HGV Direct (pictured, above) is a recent graduate of ZF’s High Voltage Expert training course. He says the valuable information he learned will help him to pass on an understanding of the technology to his customers as mobility advances.

“At some point electric vehicles will be the norm. With ever more stringent emissions targets to hit companies are looking more closely at their environmental impact and changes to larger fleets have already begun,” he said.

Dale is in full agreement that mandatory training should be undertaken before working with EV and hybrid commercial vehicles.

“The EV system is complex and requires in-depth knowledge to safely and correctly repair it,” he added.

“This subject should not be ignored. It’s the future for every fleet operator or commercial workshop and understanding it will allow businesses to adapt and prepare.

“With technology advancing rapidly the market is closer to needing to find a solution than we realise. Right now, the CV aftermarket should be working closely with VMs and companies such as ZF to understand the transition timescales and provide valuable information to business owners and fleet operators. In the future this will have a direct impact on fleet renewals, carbon reduction targets and future expansion.”

James O’Gara added: “ZF Aftermarket’s objective is that all market participants understand Next Generation Mobility technologies as well as the challenges they bring and can therefore prepare at an early stage. Technological developments offer interesting growth potential for workshops but can only be used if they are prepared for it.” 

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