Aftermarket of tomorrow—what does the electric motor mean for independent workshops?

The advent of e-mobility is often accompanied by uncertainty for workshops. How much maintenance does an electric motor need? What sort of repair volume can be expected? Which are the common models and voltage levels? And how can workshops obtain the information needed to ensure safe, efficient, and fast maintenance and repairs? This is where MAHLE Aftermarket comes in, as a 360° solutions provider with OEM expertise.

MAHLE already offers manufacturers of electric vehicles sophisticated drive solutions with maximum performance. MAHLE traction motors are suitable for all applications: for mild and full hybrid vehicles and for vehicles with a range extender, as well as for purely battery-powered electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles and even two-wheelers. By continuously expanding its activities in the area of power electronics and drives, MAHLE has been preparing for the mobility transformation for some time—and is paving the way for its aftermarket portfolio of tomorrow.

 “The demands on workshops are changing and becoming more diverse. We support them by offering a high level of availability, top quality, and all the services and information they need in the workshop,” says Olaf Henning, Corporate Executive Vice President and General Manager MAHLE Aftermarket.

Thermal management for the battery and drive of electric vehicles will be a particularly important part of day-to-day life in the workshops of tomorrow. The thermal cycle of an electric motor differs fundamentally from that of a combustion engine. The air conditioning compressor becomes part of the powertrain, as it is responsible for the cooling of the battery and motor. The importance of efficiency is especially apparent when traveling in winter. While a combustion engine produces ample waste heat for heating the interior, the energy of an electric motor is barely sufficient to warm up the cabin air. 

Electric cars do produce waste heat—for example, during battery charging—but significantly less than combustion engines. Dissipating this heat to protect the components, on the one hand, and utilizing it efficiently for air conditioning, on the other, is an important aspect of thermal management. Ultimately, all measures have the same objective: to use the available energy more efficiently in order to increase the cruising range. Thermal management systems of this complexity are new for workshops. For this reason, MAHLE is already working to ensure that repair and maintenance information (RMI), spare parts, diagnostic tools, and service units are available for workshops at the right time. In this way, MAHLE provides specific support for workshops in this new business segment.