Key players in the wholesale auction business in 2022 are busy trying to prepare their operations for the influx of used electric vehicles expected to permeate the market in the next few years.
As more automakers announce EV lineups and chart all-electric journeys, leaders of major auction companies find themselves wrestling with how to transform their spaces from the top-down to better accommodate those cars and all of their technological nuances.
Large and small auctions alike have to determine how much to invest in steps such as building out charging infrastructure — which gets more expensive for faster charging stations. They have to hire from a too-small pool of service technicians who understand EV battery packs and other special modules, not just internal combustion-powered vehicles. On top of that, they find themselves fielding increasing dealer demand to clearly indicate before a sale the health of a used EV's lithium ion battery, an expensive component to replace.
"There's just a lot of complexity, but we know that the industry is going there, and these cars need to get charged," Grace Huang, president of auction giant Manheim, said this month.