(Article published in Automotive Innovations magazine, June 2023)

By Éric Descarries

When we talk about electric vehicles, the first thought that comes to mind is the convenience of no longer having to fill up with gasoline, thus saying goodbye to its sometimes-prohibitive cost. True, but what about the cost of repairs?

We’re not referring to mechanical repairs here, but rather the costs incurred by the slightest collision. After all, we’re not talking about sheet metal! In this respect, the technology remains the same. However, it’s what’s underneath all these cars that will cost so much more…

When the bill increases

According to an article in the trade publication Green Fleet, insurance claims for a simple fender bender at the front of a modern electric vehicle amount to an average of US$4,000, an increase of more than 27% compared to a conventional vehicle. It will cost even more if the electric vehicle is more upscale, up to US$8,000 or some 53% more than a gas-powered vehicle.

What’s the bottom line? The bodywork trades will have to change over the next few years to meet the new demands of the industry! Already, many collision repair centres and technicians in the industry are joining forces with service partners who can provide them with state-of-the-art diagnostics, featuring reprogramming tools that can adapt to the subtleties of modern technology found in almost every new vehicle currently on the market, including electric vehicles. Indeed, all recent vehicles include cutting-edge detection and prevention technologies consisting of sensors and transmitters placed throughout the vehicle body.

New tools for new technologies

Incidentally, it costs more to repair these vehicles because among the new tools used for this kind of work are increasingly sophisticated devices, not only to restore bodywork to its original beauty, but also to upgrade sensors and transmitters so that they can perform their original functions. Imagine this: in addition to restoring all mainframe programs, related devices, and other types of calibration, we must take into account coding devices as well as modern wireless technology. In case you haven’t noticed, many new vehicles are now equipped with Wi-Fi.

Collision repair centres aren’t what they used to be. They’ve gone from being small, dark, and unattractive to veritable laboratories for the ultra-sophisticated machines that our new vehicles have become!

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