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October 2023

Focus on connected and electric cars: a preview of the report

Enrica Lazzarini

We sat down with Claudio Cangialosi, director of, to explore the issues that will be presented at Futurmotive – Expo & Talks
At Futurmotive – Expo & Talks, scheduled for 16 November at 11.00 am, the “Report on Connected and Electric Cars: Opportunities for Today and Tomorrow” by will be presented. We took the opportunity to interview Claudio Cangialosi, director of, who will be presenting the project during the first day of the event.
  • Claudio, without revealing too much of the report “Connected and Electric Cars: Change is Under Way” that you’ll present at Futurmotive, can you give us some advanced information? For instance, with the increase of connected cars in Italy, what is the situation now in terms of subscription fees for connected services? And what might be the long-term implications for consumers?
“Connectivity is becoming more and more a standard feature on many new vehicles, without exception to segment, type and power supply. Cars equipped with remote connectivity functions via the Infotainment system and Automaker Apps almost always carry subscription fees, which potential buyers are rarely informed of before the purchase, as our report will show. Most Brands offer a service free of charge for a period that widely varies, starting with delivery to the customer. When that expires, consumers find themselves entangled in offers to renew the service.
When the Manufacturer includes all services in a single package, the yearly renewal becomes a significant share of the car’s usage costs. But we found out more: some Automakers apply renewal fees that differ between the first and second owner. This detail, which many consumers ignore, pressed us to explore further what happens when a connected car changes ownership, what procedures are required, and what services are passed on along with the car or are interrupted. Here, too, we discovered an infinity of procedures that we clear up in the report. While addressing this issue, we also publish results of a survey by the European Commission that shows how much there is still to do when it comes to transparency and Privacy”.
  • With the growth of electric cars, are there data or statistics that indicate how maintenance and servicing costs vary with respect to traditional vehicles?
“The distribution of electric cars on Automakers’ lists prompted our interest in the operating and maintenance costs compared to internal combustion vehicles. As we also demonstrated in earlier reports, because of the few components to replace (timing and service belts, spark plugs, motor oils, etc.), the cost of periodic servicing of an EV tends to be lower than an ICE. However, it’s not a constant for all Automakers and all models.
On the contrary, while researching routine maintenance costs of the 10 electric cars that best represent today’s market, we made some astounding discoveries: in some cases when the buyer chooses a more outfitted car, they find themselves having to pay much higher maintenance costs or unexpected replacements that they thought they were saving on by purchasing an electric car. Our report seeks to clear up these issues by informing consumers about the actual and official costs, which we got from the Press Offices of the car manufacturers.
  • Cybersecurity is a growing concern with connected cars. There have been many cases – also appearing on social media – of hackers who take just minutes to violate the security of a connected car. What are the current safety measures to counter this threat?
“It’s true, cybersecurity has become a large concern for the automotive industry, even more than electrification, as cars have become more “connected”. And it’s the excuse that has led the Automakers to introduce the famous control unit protections. Protections that thanks to SERMI (and we’ll be presenting the latest data and details), will be progressively superseded. In any case, much is to be done regarding the “Right to Repair” in Europe and around the world. Our report also includes the viewpoint of representatives of major associations who defend the free competition of the IAM and have signed the Global Vehicle Right to Repair Position Statement.
Getting back to connectivity, many new cars can be remote controlled via an application that can open doors, enable ignition and a lot of other things. Through an exclusive interview with a hacker, we found out that one of the major automakers, considered among the most innovative in terms of connectivity, has a big bug that leaves ‘doors’ open for access by possible felons who know exactly what to do. But this is only one of several analyses, and in interviews with cybersecurity experts, who explained the degree to which connected cars and on grid recharging stations are protected from cyber attacks and what are the best ways to fend them off”.
  • Along with the innovation in the electrification sector, how is the aftermarket supply chain changing, and what are the opportunities or challenges for garage networks and service providers?
“Having prepared earlier reports, we’ve been able to predict some changes in the IAM sector; for example, regarding labour costs charged for electric cars in independent garages. I’ve been saying for over a year that we’re going to see higher labour costs for electric cars versus those for ICE. While filming to document how an electric car is serviced and what that entails, we discovered that the garage where we were (among the largest and most specialised in electric cars in Italy), applied higher labour costs for EVs. How much higher? We’ll be revealing that during the presentation.
What’s more, thanks to the contribution of our historic main sponsor LKQ RHIAG, we’re able to tell the future of auto repair based on the use of innovative instruments, which in some garages is already a solid reality that allows professionals to stand out among the rest. Not only electrification, but also connectivity, are two focuses of discussions surrounding an array of European standards with an enormous impact on the IAM market. The report will contain a lot of in-depth analyses and interviews useful to B2C and B2B with information about what’s happening in Europe and around the world”.
  • Connected cars are becoming more and more common on European highways. What are the main challenges and opportunities as far as connected cars are concerned?
“Connected cars represent one of the main trends in the auto industry, but in the last few years they’ve revolutionised the way that we interact with vehicles and the surrounding environment, when we think about the circulation of cars connected with the aftermarket black boxes of insurance companies and fleets, or the eCall system mandatory from 2018, which risks becoming obsolete on millions of vehicles, as we discovered while preparing this report.
Connected cars will have a big impact on a wide scale, which will be positive only if there are no positions of privileged control, as was expressed in many of those interviewed working at the European Commission to protect IAM from the monopoly of car manufacturers. Technology runs faster than standards, and this delay risks excluding those who do not have access to connected vehicles from the aftermarket (from repair to services). And regarding this, we also performed research and analyses to assist the operators in the automotive aftermarket to stay informed and be prepared for change”.  
  • And last, can you tell us more about your partners and what contributions they will be bringing to Futurmotive – Expo & Talks?
“The report was prepared with the precious support of the Main Sponsor LKQ RHIAG, the Platinum Sponsor carVertical, the Golden Sponsors Cobat and Europ Assistance, and the Silver Sponsors Arval and Varta/Clarios. Not to mention the prestigious support of ANFIA and Autopromotec, as well as the contribution from the Connected Car & Mobility Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano, who embraced our idea of performing a study on connectivity and access to repair data among AIM repair professionals, a study produced also thanks to the precious contribution of CNA members.
The report is the result of major efforts by the editorial team, which spanned nine months and that will include over 50 analyses and infographics whose highlights will be presented as a preview at Futurmotive. Along with me on stage, some of our Partners will be discussing and commenting the information shared. It will be an event where the sharing of information will prove useful to the entire aftermarket chain. We’ll see you there”.

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