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  • stevecowles

The Service Station of the future

Unless something happens to change the date which has already been set, we will see the end of sales of new combustion-engined cars by 2030, actually only just over 6 years away which is not that long as the change will presumably start to accelerate towards that point.

A lot is said about lack of infrastructure, cost, range etc but that was not the thing which popped into my mind the other day; I was thinking about people who work proceeding services around ‘normal’ cars, namely in dealerships, repair garages and petrol stations, this adds up to a lot of people. How will it affect them?

So, psychic-Steve says: I’ll quite possibly be proven wrong but this is what I figured, obviously, ‘normal’ cars won’t disappear overnight so any changes will be gradually over a number of years.

  • Repair: there will be new skills to learn but to a degree, this is true any time that new models come out. The main change will be that there will be less work to do as each service involves less work. Clearly, this will impact job numbers.

  • Service stations: the change has already started to happen, they are becoming larger and more multipurpose so that you can have a coffee or do some shopping. As charging will take a while, this will become more important. There is also the potential for a lot of competition from supermarkets and I think we will see other superstores, DIY and garden centres jump on board too. The overall number of service stations will go down significantly in my view. Obviously, a lot of charging will be at home and these people will rarely visit one. The ability to charge will become one of the major factors in choosing where those without home charging visit and it will be the desire of retailers to attract custom which helps to effectively cap the price of recharging at a medium speed.

  • Dealerships; I’m inclined to think that the days of people buying a new car rather than leasing are on the way out already, the higher cost of electric cars will accelerate this trend, and less servicing will also have an impact. I think the days of a one-make dealership are close to finishing and lower numbers of multi-brand car supermarkets will continue to grow.

In summary, the number of jobs ‘looking after’ cars will drop significantly over the next 15 years and the availability of charging options will impact other choices in day-to-day life for many. Anyway, that is my view, maybe I’ll pop back in ten years and see just how wrong I was.

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