Florence Bailleul. through this event, we focused our message around the change of paradigm currently taking place in the world of the battery. In concrete terms, we move from a product which for a long time had only a single function, namely to start the vehicle, to a product that must fulfil several missions, and therefore deliver a lot more energy than in the past. Today, we find 150 instruments electrified, connected to the vehicle, which is considerable, to which must be added the new technologies of Start-stop, which represent the biggest constraint, since the battery must be able to take over and deliver all the power needed while the engine is off.
What is the technology Start-stop to this day in the car park?
Even though we talk a lot about the electric vehicle, this is not what is truly going to “driver” the aftermarket of the future. It is more the Start-stop that will influence this market for the next fifteen years. By 2020, one-third of the vehicles that visit a garage to be equipped with this technology. Currently, in new vehicles sold, the equipment rate reached 65 %. The operations will be exponential in the coming years and it is now that we must prepare. Furthermore, we believe that the car park is going to spend 20 million of Start-stop 60 million in four years, with equipment rates of the order of 70% to 75% in Europe, and that can rise to 50 % in the United States or in China.
What is the impact of this mutation to the repairers ?
We realized by probing the market as an independent mechanical on both was not able to repair it and did not know how to actually operate on a system Start-stop. Why ? Because, on the one hand, it is complicated and because, on the other hand, the batteries are difficult to locate in the new configurations of cars. In the end, the garage does not have the necessary information, it is estimated that the response time on a battery, which can take up to 60 minutes, is too long. This is the reason why we have decided to launch a complete program, called Varta Battery Test-Check, which allows the garage to work preventively and to develop this type of operation in a way that is almost systematic, and not seasonal.
What are the deadlines for this program ?
This program, which is deployed in Europe this year, has been experienced in October 2016 with distributors in several european countries, selected because of their representativeness. We have collected a total of 66 000 tests in Europe. On the basis of the lift observed, we have established as a consumer on four in Europe rolls out with a battery in good condition, and one driver in five is at risk of failure. And if we carry out preventive controls, we can avoid in 20 % of cases a failure to the user. In France, 23 % of the batteries tested were low and 17 % have been changed directly by the workshop.
is there a device which allows the mechanic to check battery in remote ? No, for the moment he visualizes the state of the battery when it tests it physically. This is the challenge of the next steps of the program but, at this stage, there is still a lot of questions. Is it that one installs a dongle on all vehicles ? How the data is sent to the user ? Is it that it is ready to use such a service on his smartphone ? We are working on these issues, we carry out assessments but, like a lot of other players in the industry, we have not yet determined the solution that we develop in the future. Be it checking the batteries of the drivers who come to visit them, they already have a huge opportunity. But the next step will be to trigger this visit.