...exhibit more flaws when they are scanned, according to the report by Mitchell Director of Claims Performance Ryan Mandell.
Mandell said estimates for electric vehicle collision repairs include a diagnostic scan 49.6% of the time, compared to 38.6% for conventional vehicles.
While late-model gasoline cars are scanned almost as frequently as electric, the scans conducted reveal more faults with electric vehicles. Mandell said electric vehicles produced an average 12.6 fault codes per scan, compared to 8.5 for internal-combustion engine vehicles.
Electric vehicle manufacturers use more lightweight materials such as aluminum, ultra-high strength steel composites and carbon fiber when building cars. Mitchell data shows parts made from such materials are more likely to require replacement rather than repair. Quarter panels, for example, are repaired 83.2% of the time for internal-combustion vehicles, but 74.6% of the time for electric cars.
Repairs also take longer. Specifically, Mitchell found electric vehicle collision repairs required 27.4 hours of labor compared to 23.3 hours for internal-combustion cars.
“EVs truly are a different breed---one that comes with a unique set of requirements and exemplifies the changes in vehicle complexity seen over the past decade,” Mandell wrote.
Marcial Nuno, manager of CollisionTech in El Cajon, said he will probably be retired by the time electric cars take over roadways.
He entered the trade in the 1980s after two semesters of training. Nowadays, he said, technicians go to school for two or three years.
No matter. Nuno said like everything else, on-the-job experience is what matters. “You’ve heard about 10,000 hours?” he asked.
Nuno has that much and more. After learning the repair trade, he worked 11 years as an appraiser for insurance carriers. In fact, that experience landed him his job managing Tarabishi’s shop.
Nuno said he spends a couple of hours every other week or so taking online classes to keep up with his I-CAR certifications. He said the auto collision trade has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same.
“You have to keep learning,” he said. “It’s only upgrading your knowledge.”