As the automotive industry shifts toward producing electric-powered vehicles, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has launched an Electric Vehicle Advisory Council (EVAC) to begin evaluating the impact of this evolution on the tire industry.
The council will focus on educating and training tire and auto dealers on the proper service techniques and procedures of EVs, establish potential safety protocols when working on them and deliver best practices for service and maintenance.
“The shift toward EVs and hybrids is gaining momentum and TIA members and the entire tire industry will be seeing more and more of these vehicles in their shops in the coming years,” said TIA CEO Richard “Dick” Gust. “As the leader in tire service training, the association wants to stay ahead of this change to ensure our members are prepared to service these vehicles safely and properly when they come into their dealerships.”
TIA President Mason Hess officially appointed the members of EVAC during the association’s recent summer board meeting.
Ron Lautzenheiser, a Big O Tires and Grease Monkey franchisee and a former TIA board member, will serve as chair of the new council. A long-time tire industry veteran, Lautzenheiser is an electric vehicle service advocate based in Fort Collins, Colo.
Joining him on the council are:
- Dr. Bryan Willson, executive director of Colorado State University Energy Institute;
- Craig Van Batenberg, CEO of the Automotive Career Development Center;
- Debra Hamlin, a TIA board member and secretary-elect, who is director of commercial business, environment, health, safety and sustainability at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations;
- John Evankovich, director of Sam’s Club’s Tire & Battery Centers, and a past TIA president;
- Jim Pangle, TIA vice president and incoming president, who is business development specialist for Fountain Tire;
- Dave Zielasko, TIA vice president of marketing and communications; and
- Roy Littlefield IV, TIA director of governments affairs, who will serve as TIA staff advisor and meeting coordinator.
The EVAC is one of two TIA advisory councils. The other is the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), whose mission is to identify recycled manufactured products and environmentally sustainable practices within the tire and rubber industry and promote them through outreach (community, industry, stakeholder) and education.