St. George: Electrical automobiles within the quick lane: do they imply the tip of the auto mechanic’s profession?

They appear to be more environmentally friendly, quieter and burn less fuel or not at all: more and more people are choosing hybrid or electric (electronic) cars. Electronic cars in particular can be seen more and more on the streets. But what does this mean for a classic car mechanic? Is the profession threatened with extinction?

Classic screwdrivers no longer exist

So far, Marcel Borkel has had only a handful of customers who bring an electronic car to the workshop. “This is still a relatively new topic for us,” says the younger manager of the family-run auto repair shop.

According to Burkell, the profession of an auto mechanic has changed for a long time. “The classic auto mechanic was replaced by a car mechatronic engineer years ago, as the technical aspect of cars became increasingly important,” he explains.

High cost of special tools

So the classic screwdriver has not been around for a long time. With electronic cars on the streets, auto experts now face more challenges, says Marcel Burkel. Electronic cars are easier to maintain because there is not much to fix apart from wear of tires and brakes. Mostly about electronics.

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“Because of the voltage, we need special tools with a rubber coating, which are more expensive than the usual ones.” The voltage tester alone costs 5,000 euros. Since the vehicles have a different chassis, the personnel have to undergo special training in order to be able to service electronic cars. Without this training, employees are not allowed to service cars. For Marcel Burkel, one thing is clear: “The daily work in the workshop will change.”

Eye-catching orange cables under the hood are characteristic of the electric car's inner workings.

Eye-catching orange cables under the hood are characteristic of the electric car’s inner workings. | Photo: Verchio, Graziella

sustainable? Better not

However, Bürkle sees e-cars as only a temporary trend. It also indicates the current situation. We have a shortage of electricity and we are really unable to meet our needs. What should it be like when most of them drive electric cars? “

Thomas Kopp also has a few electronic cars for servicing in his workshop in Hagenmoos. “But we have more customers with hybrid cars.” Its employees also take courses to gain the necessary knowledge.

According to him, electronic cars will also do less work. “You have to look at it this way: all maintenance related to the engine has been completely scrapped,” says Thomas Kopp.

combustion not only dies

However, the garage owner is of the opinion that combustion cars won’t be pushed off the streets anytime soon. “Currently, about 97 percent of vehicles are powered by combustion engines, so they still make up the majority,” Cobb says.

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Cope never imagined that electronic cars could work in all areas. “Right now, the infrastructure for that simply doesn’t exist,” says Thomas Cobb. High costs add to the problem – not only from an energy point of view, but also when changing the battery.

“The battery lasts several years,” he says. “But if it breaks, you lose a few thousand euros. A lot of people rent the battery,” says Thomas Kopp.

Electronic cars pollute more than combustion engines

Andreas Glenz takes a similar view. He is a foreman in the “Autocrew Ganter” workshop. Although working on an electric vehicle is a clean affair compared to a combustion engine, it is also much more dangerous. “First we have to unlock the car on the computer and then make sure that everything is free of voltage before we get to work,” he explains.

“Electronic cars will last another 10 to 15 years, after which they probably won’t be around,” Glens says. Because e-mobility as it is now on the market is not sustainable, says Glens.

Foreman Andreas Glenz's workshop under a car with a combustion engine.  & ldquo;  You're still getting your hands dirty here.  which - which...

Foreman Andreas Glenz’s workshop under a car with a combustion engine. “You still get your hands dirty here. On the other hand, working on electronic cars is clean.” | Photo: Verchio, Graziella

In addition to the high costs for consumers and auto repair shops, he sees the issue of climate protection as particularly problematic. “Not many realize that the environmental footprint of electric vehicles is twice as large as that of combustion engines,” he says.

This is mainly due to the battery, which consists of a large number of raw materials, some of which are very rare. “If the battery is broken and has to be disposed of – is that still an environmental justification?”

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