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Industry Insider: Preparations for EV influx underway for collision centres

Vaughan, Ontario – In this week’s episode of Industry Insider, Collision Repair’s Max Reid spoke to Jeff Pabst of Pfaff Autoworks regarding the EV influx and how it could play out in the collision repair industry.

With the 365 day long speedbump called 2020 finally in the rearview, collision centres across Canada are finally able to turn part of their focus back to the burgeoning electric vehicle market that industry experts have long been predicting to boom in this new decade.

It goes without saying that the previous year did not go according to anyone’s plan; consumer and corporation alike. But many collision centres never lost sight of the new wave of electric vehicles due to hit the roads in the next few years and have been working on solutions to stay ahead of the curve on EVs.

Jeff Pabst and his team at Pfaff Autoworks in Vaughan, Ontario have their eyes locked on the projected influx of EVs into the market and are hoping to close in on the specialized and highly sought-after EV repair work.   

“We’re a Tesla-certified facility, so we’ve seen first-hand the increase in volume in [the EV sector]. We’re also a Volkswagen, Audi, MINI, BMW and Porsche-certified shop; those manufacturers are all pushing hard and heavy on EVs. So we’ve been looking at this for about a year now, gearing ourselves up so we’re not caught behind the eightball when they really start to flood in,” said Pabst.

“We’re anticipating somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 to 30 percent of the cars that we repair in the next three to five years will be EVs.”

For Pabst, that means his team is expecting to get about six times more EV repair work than before.

“Other than the odd Porsche Taycon—since they’ve been introduced we’ve done three of them, so that’s minor. I’d say EVs make up probably five percent of our business,” said Pabst.

This influx of EVs is by no means a simple cash grab, however, as there is still much work to be done in terms of standardizing these distinct and specialized repair procedures.

“First and foremost really is safety. Every manufacturer, even between Audi and Porsche, their procedures are all different, even though they are really all under one umbrella. The technology and processes among those brands are different in many cases, so we’ve developed an EV program in-house mainly based around safety protocols and procedures.”

Pabst referred to the adequate implementation of an EV charging network “a big undertaking”, but also sees it as an opportunity to eliminate a common barrier for entry for Canadian drivers who are curious about EVs, but dismayed by conversations surrounding battery range and charger availability.

“I think with the availability of charging stations and as the battery technology evolves, it becomes easier to accept [EVs] in daily use,” said Pabst.

Listen to this week’s episode of Industry Insider for more information.

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