In terms of the aftermarket, batteries have historically been a relatively simple component to replace within a generally uncomplicated electrical system. With the introduction of start/stop technology however, things have changed.
“In order to support a start/stop system, which, as its name suggests, requires the battery to make multiple engine starts in the course of a single journey, there had to be a fundamental shift in technology as a traditional SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) battery was not up to the job,” explains ECOBAT’s General Manager, Kevin Wood. “Hence the development of first, AGM (absorbent glass mat) and later, EFB (enhanced flooded battery) designs.
“Although these developments are now commonplace within the industry, what is clear from the research we’ve conducted, is that there is still confusion in the marketplace as to the process and tools that are required to change the battery in a start/stop equipped vehicle, as well as a failure to recognise that it requires a specific battery. This general lack of awareness also extends to the meaning of the acronyms (SLI, AGM, EFB) given to the various battery designs used for differing vehicle technologies.
“First to the start/stop specific research, through which we discovered that nationally, 43% of workshops turn away start/stop battery replacement. This implies that many consider fitting them to be complicated and the necessary equipment costly, so have decided it is a job best to steer clear of.
“When it comes to the subject of awareness of the different battery designs and their terminology, technicians were asked to provide the correct meaning of the acronyms SLI, AGM and EFB. Remarkably, of the more than 400 technicians questioned, less than 10 percent answered starting lights ignition, absorbent glass mat and enhanced flooded battery for the corresponding SLI, AGM and EFB acronyms.
“This reinforces the fact that rather than understanding that these batteries are fundamentally different and are designed for differing applications – SLI batteries for traditional applications without a start/stop function, EFB for entry-level start/stop vehicles and AGM for larger start/stop vehicles that could also feature regenerative braking etc. – technicians appear to think they are just letters, without any associated meaning.”
Although this misunderstanding is not easy to tackle, ECOBAT has made a significant difference when it comes to actually fitting start/stop batteries, with the development of its ONE BOX solution, a combination of tools and training that allows workshops to tackle start/stop battery replacement with confidence, and crucially, increases the level of service they can provide their customers.
“Alongside ONE BOX, the ECOBAT Glasgow branch, which opened in 2001, supplies prominent brands such as VARTA®, Exide, Lucas and Numax, as well as battery related products like chargers and booster packs,” Wood continues.
“With this impressive portfolio and their extensive knowledge of the battery industry, Branch Manager, Peter McBride and his team are able to serve the entire Scottish region, as well as North West England, using a combination of our own fleet of vehicles and carriers to reach the Highlands and islands.
“In addition to the Scottish distribution hub, we have more feet on the ground to support our customers in Scotland, with Business Development Manager, Craig Anderson, a recent recruit to the business, alongside Regional Sales Manager, Paul Dyer, an ECOBAT stalwart.
“Despite the obvious difficulties thrown up by the pandemic, our Glasgow branch has been operating throughout, supporting our customers with the products they need when they need them. As we enter the traditional battery season, the facility remains well stocked and our dedicated team at their service.”
If you would like to get in touch with our Glasgow branch, call 0141 647 9700 or email Glasgow@ecobat.tech