Wrap-Up: BSN Australia EV Webinar Oct 2021

The latest BodyShop News webinar, conducted live on 28 October, examined issues around the repair of electrified vehicles.

The webinar would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors:

The highly credentialed panel consisted of MG Cannon CEO Robert Snook, Nissan Australia Fixed Operations Specialist Steve Harvey, B&A Motor Body Repairs Operations Manager Dominic Mazzeo; Ezi-Methods co-owner and founder Andrew Marsh, and BodyShop News Publisher Michel Malik. The webinar was hosted by BodyShop News Managing Editor Albert Malik.

While EVs are slowly increasing in Australia, their sales still pale compared to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and even more so against traditional petrol or diesel-powered vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE). Nonetheless, experts are warning repairers to start learning how to fix EVs and HEVs as they have characteristics requiring different repair processes to ICE-powered vehicles.

In just over an hour, the panel outlined the types of electrified vehicles that will be most commonly found in the near term, along with their effect on body repairers.

The webinar began by introducing EVs and HEVs, explaining important differences between the two and how they differ from ICE-powered vehicles. The panel then covered topics regarding their repair process, such as:

  • What needs to happen when a vehicle is checked in?
  • Does your shop have access to repair methods for EVs and, if so, how clear are they?
  • Do you need to de-energise the vehicle every time you work on it, and how do you know you have done so safely?
  • Is anything different for the panel technician when repairing an EV?
  • Are there different procedures for responding to, and updating, EV customers?
  • Do paint operations need to change when handling EVs?
  • How do you re-energise the car and know it is safe and correct for handover?
  • Does the handover process need to change?

The overarching theme from the panel and the audience polls was that strategy is the key business advantage. This includes deciding whether a business should repair all makes and types of vehicle or specialise on certain vehicles.

The webinar audience, made up of industry members from all over the country, was well-versed in the technology, but the webinar also helped highlight potential customer expectations. For instance, a repairer who hands back ICE-powered vehicles with a full fuel tank might consider whether they will charge a repaired EV to full before the handover. In this case, should the repairer invest in a rapid charger?

The panel also considered if it was possible to continue concentrating solely on ICE-powered vehicles, along with discussing the increase in required training to handle electrified vehicles against potential profitability.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch it below. Our next discussion is planned for Thursday 3 February 2022. Keep an eye on our website for more details, or subscribe to our newsletter to be notified directly.