THERE IS MONEY TO BE MADE IN EV REPAIR
BY ALLISON ROGERS
There are a lot of safety precautions required when a collision repair shop sees an electric vehicle. And, on that note, there are bobs and bits of safety tools you’ll be required to keep around your shop, from high-voltage gloves and safety suits to insulated footwear and hand tools; battery lifts, insultations testers…the list goes on.
Steve Elder and Jim Berladyn, two instructors with the EV Service program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) focussed on safety during their talk at the Vancouver EV Repair tour stop. They delivered stories of EV fires—which can ignite hours, even days post-collision—and the long, long list of precautionary safety measures a shop should be trained in before they put their hands in the EV market.
A Vancouver panel consisting of Wade Bartok and Connor Jameson of CSN Elite, CSN Elite Xpress and OkTire North Shore; Scott Waddle of Precision Auto Service and Josh Charlton of Pro Auto Recyclers concluded that EVs are a hefty project to take on, but the rewards can be grand if your business remains committed.
There are plenty of things to consider when taking EVs into your shop. Working with insurers and making coherent claims on these new technologies can be a daunting task. After all, there are a lot of different procedural considerations on EVs—and not in the high-voltage areas you may be thinking. Many Tesla repairs require three-stage refinishing—add that to the bill—among other line items. They add up on the estimate but, if you ask the automaker, they are required. Shopowners remain perplexed by this problem and await progress amid ongoing conversations.
Another consideration that few shops may expect is pushback from all your employees. Despite all the talk that engaged, excited employees will want to dive head-first into EV learning. CSN Elite’s own team saw some significant pushback across the board. Thanks to Bartok and Jameson’s leadership, progress was made when one tech joined the electric mindset, followed by another, and another, and so on. It’s all about dedication, perseverance and a passion for proper repairs.
Despite all of this, when asked if there is money in EVs, Bartok had but one word. “Yes.”