3 Electric Vehicle Diagnostic Facts for Your Auto Career
Electric vehicle diagnostics are the way of the future. More specifically, they can use technology to monitor the state of the car, as well as provide information about it in real time and help find the cause of many issues. For any driver, remote diagnostics can be a major advantage, and any auto professional such as a mechanic should understand how they work.
While the technology behind electric vehicles and their diagnostics is fascinating, they aren’t all created equal, and it’s important to understand just how diagnostic tools for EVs work. Here are some quick facts on electric vehicle diagnostics.
1. These Systems Have Some Specific—and Very Intriguing—Features
In large part, remote diagnostic tools have streamlined the diagnostic process by limiting downtime and maintenance costs. For electric vehicles, these kinds of diagnostics can offer drivers various interesting features, including providing extensive details on the electric car’s health, displaying the status of its range and battery, and sending email and SMS alerts about the car. Additionally, the remote diagnostics market has been moving away from monitoring emissions and finding errors with the internal combustion engine to focusing on EV-specific functions, such as charging efficiency, energy efficiency, high voltage safety, and thermal management.
2. An Auto Mechanic Can Use Three Different Types of Scan Tools for EVs
For any technician to diagnose issues with electric vehicles using scan tools, it’s important for them to know which ones they can use during their auto career. There are three main types: a scan tool from an OEM (original equipment manufacturer), an aftermarket scan tool, and a more generic OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics II) tool.
Each of these come with distinct pros and cons. Generic OBD-II tools will usually access a certain amount of scan data from a car’s ECM (engine control module), but might have trouble accessing modules specific to electric or hybrid vehicles. OEM scan tools are typically the ones that will have the most updated and optimized coverage and data, as they are coming from their original manufacturers and are often used by dealerships to diagnose any issues with cars they’re selling. By comparison, aftermarket tools might not always accurately show data parameters when connected to EVs or HVs, unless they are enhanced for particular vehicles of that kind.
3. Given Market Trends, Electric Vehicle Diagnostics are Important to Learn About
Research from Morgan Stanley shows that a billion electric cars will be in use by the year 2050, which is a monumental increase from the 3 million plug-in and electric hybrid vehicles already on the road and could mean that EVs will outnumber traditional vehicles. Any auto mechanic should know that diagnostics systems will need to be increasingly tailored towards EVs and their specific functions. Specialized diagnostics systems are particularly important given that electric vehicles may encounter drawbacks and issues as they continue to be developed, such as a limited driving range, battery issues, and a lack of charging infrastructure. Diagnostic software for EVs can assist the car in managing its parts such as maintaining its electric battery, collecting data on its health and notifying drivers of parts that need servicing, and navigating drivers toward charging stations.
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