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Local mechanics will have to adapt as hybrid and electric cars slowly become the norm

2020-09-07 06:30

Robin Classen

Audi and electric mobility

Audi and electric mobility (Audi Media)

  • More and more electric vehicles are being launched as automakers gear toward electric mobility.
  • Currently, there are three electric vehicles available on the local market.
  • Local mechanics need to start adapting sooner than they anticipated.
  • For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za.




Somewhere in the distant future there will no longer be the rumbling of high-performance combustion engines, with the non-existent, yet audible, sound of an electric engine.

It's an unbelievable scenario to wrap one's mind around but also one that many will have to get used to as automakers constantly break new ground in eco-friendly mobility.

Times have changed

Even though the age of hybrid and electric vehicles is very much in its infancy in South Africa, once the tide turns, local mechanics and suppliers will have to change.

SEE | 5 electric cars to look out for in 2020

Since combustion engines will no longer be the primary sources of power under the bonnet, it will eventually void the need for companies to stock the parts an then stop producing them.

Do you think you'll own an electric vehicle in the next five to ten years? Are you ready to make the change? Please Email us.

Local mechanics put food on the table because they are able to work on any second-hand vehicle that needs attention. Even now, modern cars are becoming more and more reliant on technology, so not every mechanic worth his or her salt can work on a car that requires tinkering with onboard diagnostics.

                                                                    Image: Motorpress

Battery packs and voltage levels will become the new norm and the use of spanners and ratchet sets will no longer be needed because, well, there will be nothing to use them on.

Speed and performance will be instantaneous from an electric vehicle but there is one thing it won't have, and that is "engine" sound.

Most petrolheads love the thrill of going fast and hearing the cacophonous noise beaming off the exhaust. However, Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post recently drove Porsche's brand new electric sportscar, the Taycan, and found out that that might not be the case.

"Even though there's no rumbling roar of the exhaust, the sheer power of the Taycan makes you forget that there's no sonorous melody strumming your heart. And it doesn't even matter one bit," she said.

WATCH | 'Like blasting into a warp zone' - How it feels driving Porsche's electric Taycan

The Ford Mustang already fell prey to the electric world and no one would be crazy to assume that other heavyweights, like the GT-R, could follow suit.

Still a long way away

Imagine having done something for more than two decades, or more, effortlessly and suddenly having to forget all of that and learn something new almost immediately.

The plus side for mechanics is that not everyone will be able to afford electric cars once all manufacturers start rolling them out. New car prices are already inflated with export taxes, and South Africa's financial state remains volatile.

The used car market is still booming but the current intention of automakers is to make sure they play their part in contributing to cleaner air with green mobility.

It will take a very long time before combustion engines are completely phased out, some of us might not even be around when that happens but for now, breathe easy "makkies".

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