Long gone are the days when cars could be fixed with coat hangers and bubble gum (and I assure you, those days did exist), but most drivers don’t worry too much if something on the car goes awry these days. Most drivers are never too far from a shop capable of fixing whatever it is that has gone wrong. For EV drivers, it’s a bit of a different story.
Electric car pioneer Karabag and truck manufacturer Still hope to change that with the world’s first nationwide service network for electric vehicles. The network will not only address the issue of finding parts for electric cars, but also that of finding qualified technicians — mechanics require special training in order to handle the high-voltage batteries and other electronics of EVs. Karabag is hoping to create more demand from its customers by making it easier for them to maintain their vehicles.
Where Else but Germany?
Karabag’s EV service network is, of course, primarily concerned with Karabag’s electric vehicles (the new 500E; Fiat’s commercial vehicle, the Fiorino E; the Doblo E; Scudo E; and the Ducato E). Still, a market leader for electric forklift trucks, is currently retraining its technicians to repair the Karabag EVs.
Over 800 Still locations — including offices, service stations, and some mobile service points — will be available to EV owners, whether their cars need to be repaired or simply maintained. Karabag’s goal is to have each station be no more than 15 miles from any customer (something like North America’s West Coast EV highway).
The mobile service points, or so-called “Flying Doctors,” are outfitted with exchangeable batteries and spare parts boxes containing electronics for battery management and control. They guarantee mobility within 48 hours of a call. For any of Karabag’s new customers, the cost of the service network is part of the two-year warranty.
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