The French automaker's electric boss says EVs will zap profit margins.
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Electric vehicles require less maintenance than cars with internal-combustion engines, with fewer fluids to change and fewer moving parts. That’s good news… but not for automakers.

According to the UK's Autocar, PSA Group electric and connected boss, Helen Lees, sees the rise of electric vehicles as being a threat to the automotive industry by virtue of their simplicity.

Compared to ICE-powered vehicles, she said, “EVs are far simpler… They need less parts, less time in the workshop. Ultimately, it means less time in aftersales. That’s why we’ve chosen to diversify into areas such as shared mobility".

Pictured: Peugeot e-208

For context, Peugeot’s recently revealed e-208 has service plan pricing a third cheaper than an ICE-powered 208, though the car costs twice as much as a base petrol-powered 208 in Europe.

However, Lees points out EV owners are less likely to be shadetree mechanics or pop into their local independent mechanic.

“Whereas a lot of consumers might service their petrol or diesel cars themselves, they tend to come back into main dealerships for EVs, because the aftermarket operators aren’t necessarily ready for electric to the same extent as manufacturers are," she explained

Though rising EV sales will result in a commensurate decline in after-sales revenue due to EVs' lower servicing costs, Lees sees in this an opportunity to build loyalty and “prove ourselves and break some of the myths about being ripped off by mainstream manufacturers”.

There’s also the potential for dealerships to become bases for rental cars. From next year, PSA is launching a package that allows customers leasing EVs to rent a petrol or diesel PSA vehicle as part of their finance package.

All this doesn’t mean PSA Group is shying away from EVs. On the contrary, the French conglomerate is introducing its first battery-electric vehicles this year. The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, Opel Corsa-e and Peugeot e-208 all use PSA’s new e-CMP platform with a 50kWh battery. The electric trio have an expected driving range of 330 kilometres under the WLTP cycle.

Following the launch of its first BEV passenger vehicles, PSA will also introduce electric versions of its Citroen Jumpy, Peugeot Expert and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro vans. The company aims to have an electrified version of all its model lines by 2025.