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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 06 July 2022 09:44

What Your Auto Body Shop Needs to Know to Be Ready to Repair EVs

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Barry Dorn said electric vehicle repair can require the right type of lift, along with other changes to your shop. Barry Dorn said electric vehicle repair can require the right type of lift, along with other changes to your shop.

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The Alliance for Automotive Innovation reported in June almost 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the first quarter of this year---a 4.2% increase over the previous quarter---representing 5.9% of overall light-duty vehicle sales. Is your shop gearing up to repair them?

Repairers, trainers, automakers and others participated in a recent panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) about what EVs will mean for auto body shops. Here are some of the highlights from that discussion.

 

Consider Your Lifts

 

“The normal two-post lift is not going to be the future, in my opinion,” said Virginia shop owner Barry Dorn, whose company is certified to repair a number of automaker’s EVs. His reasoning: Shops will need a lift that can be used when an EV’s main battery pack need to be removed.

 

“When you consider the width of the battery you are going to take out, at least for the Audi brand, the batteries are the size of a queen-size mattress and weigh close to 2,000 pounds,” said Mark Allen of Audi of America. “So you’re going to need a lift that has at least 67 inches between the posts. Not the arms, the posts. And then a flat floor underneath so you can get a lift table underneath.”

Expect to Need a Power Upgrade

 

Many shops in the past have had to upgrade the electrical service to their building in order to accommodate the power needs of some welding equipment. Putting in one or more EV charger stations will likely require yet another upgrade.

“The answer they are mostly getting [when shops inquire about any necessary electrical upgrades] is: You only have...


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