Toronto, Ontario — Ford recently warned the collision repair industry about the dangers of exposing electric vehicle batteries to excessively high temperatures, specifically referencing those found in some body shops’ paint booths.
According to Ford’s latest On Target newsletter, excessive heat can damage high-voltage batteries (HVB) and high-voltage traction batteries (HVTB) in electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
These high temperatures are often found in certain body shop paint booths.
“The temperature in some body shop paint booths can exceed 60°C (140°F), said the automaker. “Therefore, during refinishing operations, the paint booth temperature must be set at or below 60°C (140°F) with a bake time of 45 minutes or less. Temperatures in excess of 60°C (140°F) or bake durations longer than 45 minutes will require the HVB and the HVTB to be removed from the vehicle prior to placing it in the paint booth.”
Ford also noted the charge port light ring must be removed if temperatures exceed 60°C and the high-voltage battery must be removed to avoid heat damage before any welding is performed near it.
The report also warned repairers to exercise caution when working on damaged electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles damaged by a crash may have compromised high-voltage safety systems
and present a potential high-voltage electrical shock hazard. Exercise caution and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) safety gear, including high- voltage safety gloves and boots. Remove all metallic jewelry, including watches and rings. Isolate the HV system as directed by the Ford Emergency Response Guide for the vehicle. Failure
to follow these instructions may result in serious personal injury or death.”
While this notice to keep electric vehicles away from heat may seem relatively obvious, it could potentially impact certain repairers’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for painting.