Count Artistic Auto Body among the shops geared up and ready for the coming wave of electric vehicles (EVs).
“That’s what we’re trying to do: anticipate where things are going, and try to get there before we have to,” shop owner Terry Mostul said, standing outside the 21,000-square foot stand-alone EV center he’s established next to his company’s original shop in Tigard, OR. “I like to be proactive rather than reactive.”
He acknowledges some of his colleagues have questioned whether his investment in an EV-only center almost two years ago wasn’t premature, at best. But the growth of EV vehicles in Mostul’s Portland area market, coupled with the nearly weekly automaker announcements in recent months of new electric-powered models, are an indication he made the right move.
“I can already see that specializing makes sense not only from what we’re doing today, but certainly as you look to the future,” Mostul said.
Artistic Auto Body’s two shop locations had ample experience with EVs prior to segmenting those vehicles to a stand-alone center. The company, which has had I-CAR Gold Class designation for 18 years, holds a dozen automakers' certifications including some from OEMs---such as Audi, Jaguar, Nissan and Tesla---that produce EVs.
It’s that experience trying to incorporate EV repairs into the company’s production that prompted Mostul to think about segmenting it out.
“There’s a long list of things we learned that motivated this,” Mostul said. “One of those things centers around parts. Here we have space and loading docks to receive all our parts for this location, even the EV parts that arrive by semi truck. We have a couple golf carts with beds on the back where we can deliver parts from here right to the technician, just in time.
And when you take an EV apart, you often have to remove much of the interior to disconnect certain things. So there are lots of interior parts that have to be taken out of the car and stored. Previously, all those parts were put on carts, and that’s just not a safe place to put seats and trim, or the glass you may need to remove just to get door handles out.”
The Artistic EV center includes...