Auto Shock: Energy costs and the market

By Elizabeth Sargeant

Toronto, Ontario — June 5, 2019 — It costs a lot to make a car. Paying for car parts, paying workers to assemble the car parts, but what about the big bills that come at the end of the month?

According to a study done by the Argonne National Laboratory, it takes about 8,868 kWh of electricity to put together the average 3,000-pound car and to put together a hybrid it costs even more.

“A hybrid car takes about 25% more energy than a regular car, or around the equivalent of 325 gallons [of gas] because it requires more juice to make the batteries,” a Sierra Club Magazine columnist reported.

This means a hybrid vehicle uses 10,858 kWh. While the average cost of an average electricity bill for a household is about $110, it is much more for auto shops and manufacturing facilities.

GM Oshawa for example, sold 259,243 cars this last year. Assuming they produce 21,603.5 cars per month, they’re electricity bill would be approximately 305,905 monthly.

Electricity wise, it cost GM Oshawa $3.6 million dollars yearly in electricity bills to make all their vehicles.

But what about collision repairers? Although they are not constructing vehicles, fixing them uses large amounts of electricity, especially to power all the tools used in shop. For example, using an air compressor will probably cost you about 76 percent of what you initially paid for one, in electricity costs per year.

The average air compressor is around $800.

But an air compressor is just one of the many tools used in a collision repair shop.

A vacuum system, which removes dust from painting areas uses 1,300 per hour, which if used an hour a day, it would equal out to nearly an extra hundred dollars a year onto the electricity bill, depending on where ones located in the country.

Other items aren’t too soft on electricity use either. A drill uses 720 watts, on orbital sander uses 600, a disk sander uses 1,200.

All of these pieces of equipment are extra hundreds on the bill, and collision repair shops fear as electricity prices begin to gradually rise again, that it will cost even more.

Let’s hope the insurers keep their eye on the costs.

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