Powered by NAPA, NexDrive is moving into high gear in Canada
As the fifth edition of the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show draws near, UAP is announcing that new NexDrive-certified locations will soon be added to its NAPA AUTOPRO network. The banner presently has 13 locations certified for the repair of next-generation vehicles, and this number is expected to jump to more than 40 by the end of the year. The network will also be expanding into other Canadian provinces.
This move is part of UAP’s plans to establish a national network for the maintenance and repair of electric and hybrid vehicles, thereby offering drivers a reliable, affordable and technologically advanced alternative to their original dealership.
“Last year, our biggest success was getting the NexDrive training program up and running, not only in Quebec, but also in Ontario and British Columbia,” says Yves Racette, Director of Program Development for the NexDrive banner. “The response was instantaneous, which just confirms that NexDrive is fulfilling a market need.”
Racette, a Quebec trailblazer in the field of electric vehicles, joined NAPA last year to set up the training and certification program behind the NexDrive banner. Racette will be at the NexDrive booth during the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show and is scheduled to give a presentation on the evolution of electric vehicles and their maintenance.
This year, UAP has also established a training and certification program for stores that supply parts and special equipment for electric and hybrid vehicles. By the end of the year, approximately 150 NAPA Auto Parts stores are expected to have obtained the NAPA High Voltage certification that will allow them to serve locations that service and repair electric vehicles.
“In addition to preparing our NexDrive locations, we are adjusting our supply system for this market segment and have begun training our team members so they can answer our customers’ questions and meet their needs,” says John O’Dowd, Vice President of Marketing for NAPA Canada. “To service electric vehicles, our locations need to have not just the right parts, but also equipment, special tools, charging stations, and knowledgable staff. We’re working closely with our suppliers to offer a range of products to meet this new demand.”
A new feature this year
This year, the NexDrive booth will be hosting well-known television host Pierre Michaud. On Saturday, Michaud will be presenting his latest project: converting a 1966 Pontiac GTO into an electric vehicle. This is Michaud’s second time upgrading a gas-powered car to electric, as he converted a 1963 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz last year. The project will be featured on the TV show Crinqué, which airs on the French-language channel RDS.