By Richard Robinson


  • Almost two-thirds of customers leave volume brand franchises with an identified illegal tyre.
  • For premium brand franchises, that number leaps to almost three-quarters.

These were the findings of our recent assessment of EVHC red tyre work conversions. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to highlight because, as well as the duty of care implications, it also meant that the majority of £98m of red tyre work went elsewhere.

The missed income opportunity is particularly relevant because of the rapid emergence of EVs. We cannot ignore their reduced servicing requirements and the concern this should raise for the UK’s aftersales departments. On the other hand, the heavier weight of EVs means they will get through more tyres.

The challenge facing aftersales teams is reinventing their model and metrics to address what will be an increasingly EV dominated new – 3 car parc. For me, an ideal opportunity is to switch from promoting discs and pads to rubber and tracking.

It’s a suggestion borne of the fact that EVs wear their braking parts far slower than comparable ICE vehicles because most of an EVs braking relies upon regenerative braking. Here, the electric motor works in reverse, converting kinetic energy from the moving vehicle into electricity, which charges the battery when slowing down. The net result is that EVs do not rely upon brakes to brake like an ICE vehicle.

Tyres seem a natural substitute to brakes; I’ve added in tracking because the equation of heavier cars and an increasingly pot-holed road infrastructure points to a greater need for tracking.

One final observation on why the call for discs and pads will decline is that the ‘no brakes’ braking in an EV that manufacturers, including Volkswagen Group, have switched back to is so efficient. For example, using drum brakes instead of brake discs and pads in the rear of some of their EV models. The older technology of drum brakes creates less rolling resistance, and since brake drums are enclosed, any particulates from their use aren’t released into the environment, meaning that what little use the drum gets doesn’t contribute to pollution.