RYAN HURDMAN IS READY TO LEAD THE CHARGE ON EV REPAIR
BY SARAH PERKINS
While preparing for the fast-paced adoption of electric vehicles and electric vehicle repair has left some auto shops just beginning to dip their toes in the waves of change, Ryan Hurdman of Bramgate Collision Centre is more than prepared to dive in. Collision Repair recently spoke with Hurdman, manager of Bramgate Collision Centre in Brampton, Ontario to discuss what he refers to as the “new world we’re living in” when it comes to EV adoption and repair.
While Hurdman reports that “most technicians are not prepared for electric vehicle repairs [because] they don’t understand it,” Bramgate Collision Centre knows that access to knowledge and continuous future proofing is important when it comes to demystifying EV fears. Currently, Bramgate Collision Centre is Volkswagen certified and is working on achieving Audi certification. The centre is also ready and equipped to fix electric vehicles and has already had experience repairing EVs on site such as Audi’s E-tron GTs and E-tron Q4s.
When speaking with Collision Repair, Hurdman also wanted to get the word out that they have EV chargers on site. As a manager, Hurdman has completed training in Teslas, Porches, as well as Audi and Volkswagen training for hybrids and EVs. As a result, he understands and wants to continue combating the current reality that “most fail to understand the precautions that need to be taken” when working with electric vehicles. “Most technicians are actually nervous, from the conversations I’ve had, because they don’t understand it. They think they’re going to get electrocuted working on these cars,” Hurdman told Collision Repair.
“Yes, people have experienced it—people have died because they are working on EVs without being aware of safety precautions.” Here, Hurdman stopped to give one such anecdote of a man with metal implants in his body who died when voltage jumping an EV. It is with safety and training in mind that has led Bramgate to follow down a longstanding path of taking the necessary steps. In order to be considered EV safe, collision centres must have two certified technicians; Bramgate has three. Hurdman further noted that along with proper training, having access to proper procedures is also important when it comes to riding the wave of EV readiness.
“We have technicians, estimators that will, naturally, consult me on certain repairs. In many cases when you get into structural repairs or welding, that’s when you need to depower not just the 12-volt, but the high voltage battery as well,” Hurdman said. When manufacturers offer training courses, Hurdman takes the opportunity to get his technicians up to speed. For Bramgate Collision Centre, preparing for the immediate upcoming future industry of EV tech means continuing to train for battery diagnosis, high voltage engineering and battery cell replacement.
Knowing how viable these future steps will be may still be a guessing game, but as Hurdman says, “it’s only a matter of time before EVs are commonplace,” and so more importantly, “it’s only a matter of time before collision centres will have to learn.” While ICE vehicles are still going to remain on roads in the coming years, Hurdman notes that “EVs are one of those things, like climate action that governments make, deadlines they have in place,” a matter of when and not if.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Hurdman said in regards to future EV certifications and requirements in the body shop, but it is clear based on Bramgate Collision Centre’s ongoing embracement of EV preparedness that they know at least one thing: When the waves of change come, you don’t want to find yourself upstream without a paddle.