April 2022 | By: Zeeshan Khan

WHY YOU NEED AFTERMARKET SOLUTIONS FOR ELECTRIC AND HYBRID VEHICLES

Global sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) increased by 108% between 2020 and 2021. Government purchasing incentives, zero emissions targets and the development of infrastructure to support EVs (Electric Vehicles) are some of the key factors responsible for the ever-increasing adoption rates. Major OEMs are also doing their part by introducing more EVs into their lineups and making commitments to phase out gasoline and diesel engines.

As we see more and more hybrids and EVs on the road, we also must prepare our shops with the right skills, training, tools and aftermarket parts to repair them – especially when it comes to suspension and chassis components. In our on-demand webinar experts discuss how several characteristics of EVs work together to wear down suspension components faster and why you need the right aftermarket parts to address this.

Understanding the Different Types of EVs and Hybrid Vehicles

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

Driven By: The electric motor

Charged By: Plugging in, supplemented by regenerative braking

 

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

Driven By: Either the internal combustion engine (ICE), the electric motor or both

Charged By: Plugging in, regenerative braking and the ICE

 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

Driven By: The electric motor, which assists the ICE

Charged By: Regenerative braking and the engine

Why their Weight and Torque Cause Components to Wear Faster

Components in hybrids and EVs are significantly impacted by the added weight of the battery pack. When compared to a full sedan of equivalent size, an EV’s curb weight can be up to 30% more. For example, a 2022 Hyundai Kona 2.0L weighs about 2,900 lbs, while the BEV version weighs an extra 400+ lbs. That’s a considerable difference. Due to their extra weight, which is concentrated low on the vehicle where the battery resides, EVs have excellent handling and cornering, but this weight also puts increased strain on suspension components, causing them to wear in a shorter amount of time when compared to an ICE vehicle.

Electric motors also generate instant full torque output off the starting line, rather than increasing gradually. What this means is that suspension components experience heavy fore-to-aft loading forces right off the mark. When combined with the increased weight of the vehicle, components such as control arms, stabilizer links and wheel hub assemblies take severe punishment during acceleration.

How EV Components Are Being Put to the Test in High Usage Applications

EVs and hybrids are increasingly being used for commercial and public service fleets, as well as ride sharing and delivery vehicles. Such heavy daily usage takes its toll on suspension components that are already feeling the strain of the increased loading.

Opportunities for Professional Technicians and Repair Shops

As EVs continue to age, factors such as skills, comfort levels with electricity and electronics, training and having the right tools and aftermarket parts will determine how successful a shop will be in the EV space. But to get there, it’s important to first understand the distinctive challenges EV chassis face in terms of design, weight, torque and performance characteristics. Shops that get on board now will be able to help their customers make the best aftermarket component choices and grow their EV business.

Tougher Parts to Handle Whatever EVs Can Throw at Them

When it comes to aftermarket parts for hybrids and EVs, our engineers apply a DFMEA (Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) approach to recognize and identify any potential weak points an OE component may have. We then address those weak points with engineered upgrades and apply a FEA (Finite Element Analysis) method to evaluate those upgrades, ensuring they have successfully met requirements. One example of this would be CMS401185, our Supreme control arm and ball joint assembly for 2019-2020 Ford Police Responder hybrid vehicles. It features:

  • Patented Bi-Metallic technology: provides all the strength without the weight in a control arm with a serviceable ball joint
  • Larger ball stud sphere: increases the load handling capability of the ball joint
  • Premium corrosion resistant coating: delivers a longer service life
  • Greaseable sintered bearing: provides superior toughness and lasting serviceability
  • Labor Saving Add-ons: make servicing and installs faster and easier, such as a 90 degree SAE grease fitting and all fasteners included

For a deeper dive into overcoming the challenges that Professional Technicians and shops face every day when working with aftermarket hybrids and EVs, watch our 30-minute webinar.