Body Shop Repair Times Longer For EVs and Hybrids

According to a claims management firm, body shop repairs for ‘complex’ EVs and hybrids take considerably longer than for their ICE equivalents…

EV Body Shop Repair Times

The Activate Group, a claims management firm, has found that body shop repairs take longer for ‘complex’ electric vehicles and hybrids. Its data shows that, on average, their repairs take 1.5 days longer than their petrol and diesel equivalents. Costs for the repairs are higher, too. They’re 29% higher for EVs and 66% higher for hybrids.

A number of factors contribute to the increased costs of body shop repairs. These include the likes of the costs of parts and components, and after-market availability for them is often poor. A lot of EVs are typically more expensive than ICE models, and AFV body work is often made of light plastic as opposed to metal; not as many mechanics or technicians are as familiar with the former as they are the latter.

Blame the Battery

Jo Seys, head of engineering at Activate Group, has suggested that the lengthier body shop repair times are largely due to battery systems. She said, “for most repairs, the battery must be powered down before work can begin and powered up at completion. This can take up to an hour in total. In some cases, the battery must be removed, and reinstalled at the end of the job. Times vary, but this process can add up to four hours of labour time”.

She continued, “to work safely with high-voltage battery, recovery agents and repairers must have the correct training and equipment. The risks involved in working with electricity means AFVs can’t simply be treated in the same way as an ICE vehicle”.

Things are even more complicated if a vehicle’s battery system has been damaged in a crash. A risk of fire is presented, and so specialist equipment and training is needed to conduct the repair work; adding further to costs and repair times.

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