Serge Cino and the technicians at Cino Auto Repair have no fears over Canada’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
The Stoney Creek business has been selected as one of a select few candidates in Canada to become an EV centre under the Napa NexDrive banner.
First announced on Earth Day, April 22 at the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show, NexDrive is a network of automotive service centres geared toward next generation vehicles. NexDrive is also Napa’s flagship program for electric vehicle training and development.
Serge Cino, co-owner of Cino Auto Repair, said the business is embracing the move toward EVs and hopes to help customers manage the transition as well.
“Electric vehicles are on the horizon and Cino Auto Repair and Napa are joining together to make sure that everyone’s needs are going to be met in the near future,” he said.
Also on Earth Day, 2022, the federal government announced it will enact a sales mandate to ensure at least 20 per cent of new passenger vehicles sold in Canada will be zero-emission by the year 2026. That number is expected to rise to 60 per cent by 2030 and finally to 100 per cent by 2035.
While internal combustion engines aren’t going away in the short term, Cino feels now is the time to adapt to changing technology. The shop has already been servicing a handful of electric vehicles.
“It’s important that we get on board,” said Cino. “We don’t want to be a dinosaur. I don’t predict that the combustion gas engine will be eliminated that quickly. But the government plus manufacturers have already implemented deadlines, and that will impact product availability.”
Cino Auto Repair was the first in Stoney Creek to achieve Drive Clean certification according to a 1999 Stoney Creek News article, investing more than $140,000 in testing equipment over two phases, in addition to countless hours of staff training.
Cino anticipates another rigorous round of training and investment under the NexDrive banner, but believes the business and his staff are up for the challenge.
“We want to be ready,” he said. “This industry has changed and it’s going to continue to change to be a high-tech, thinking environment.”
Generally speaking, electric vehicles require less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles, Cino noted. With EVs there are no oil changes or spark plugs to replace and the only fluids to manage are the coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
“It’ll be more high-tech, like computer reprogramming, electrical wiring issues, sensors and things like that,” Cino noted. “So it’s evolving into a higher tech industry.”
Cino said Napa Autopro was recently named the top aftermarket shop for customer satisfaction for repair or maintenance by J.D. Power. With that in mind, he feels confident that the Napa NexDrive program will give technicians all the training and expertise needed to succeed.
“Napa NexDrive is developing training for Autopro facilities to service EV vehicles safely and to ensure manufacturer warranties are met with the proper certified technicians and services performed,” Cino noted.
“As with Drive Clean back in the 90s we were the first certified in the area and we have been chosen from Napa NexDrive as one of the first candidates to work towards our shop and technician certification so that we can service our customers properly in the future,” Cino added.
Cino wishes to thank Matyn John, Jason Miller and Zak and Steve Kreiger for their support in adapting the Auto Pro program into the future.