CIECAST Prepares Collision Repairers for the EV Revolution
Posted on Jan 27th, 2021
by Chasidy Rae Sisk
As electric vehicles become increasingly prevalent---the Edison Electric Institute anticipates 18.7 million EVs will be on the road by 2030---how will these vehicles impact the collision repair industry in general and your shop specifically? How can you prepare?
General Motors’ John Eck, Chris Evans from State Farm, and Pete Tagliapietra of NuGen IT, an OEC company, answered these questions and more Jan. 26 during CIECAST: Preparing for the EV Revolution, moderated by CIECA Executive Director Paul Barry.
Eck, collision manager of GM’s customer care & aftersales wholesale dealer channel, began by discussing some of the opportunities EVs create for vehicle manufacturers, such as the ability to work on new technology and an opportunity for diversification across the industry.
“The build of the [electric] vehicle is different, and though the impact may not be as severe structurally, it shouldn’t be very dissimilar to what [collision repairers] currently see," Eck said.
“As long as shops follow the OEM repair procedures and safety protocols, repairers should be able to handle EV repair,” Eck emphasized. “OEs know the vehicles better than anyone---we design, engineer and manufacture the vehicle. Regardless of severity, follow the OEM procedures without exception to ensure the vehicles are safe.”
Barry asked about possible changes in the way OEMs communicate with the collision industry regarding repair standards.
“We need to make it easier for repairers to access; we want to work with the industry to ensure they can repair these vehicles safely," Eck said. "We are exploring better and deeper integration of our content into the workflow process through a variety of means to make the process easier.”
Eck also advocates for improved collaboration among OEMs, insurers and repairers, pointing out the many shared metrics as well as the shared consumer everyone wants to serve.
Next, Evans, P&C claim consultant for State Farm Insurance Companies, shared projections that 20% to 30% of new cars on the road will be an EV by 2030, noting State Farm has seen the number of EVs they insure quadruple since 2018.
“The market is signaling growth,” he said.
“From a claims standpoint, we’ve noticed an interesting dynamic with EVs,” Evans added. “Unlike most collisions where the front impact is damaged most frequently
rear impact damage seems to be more frequent in this population; however, a lot of the damage is on the front of the vehicle in total loss scenarios.
"Regardless of severity, most EV repairs require some sort of recalibration, and there’s a lot of movement and trending in the industry around OE repair procedures.”
Mentioning that some OEMs have implemented security gateway modules that present a hurdle for repairers, Evans expressed excitement to see Ford and other OEMs opening their communication systems.
“The data that exists in event data recorders is going to become more relevant in the future," Evans said. "Communication from the vehicle is only going to increase. However, the data that’s captured is owned by the vehicle owner or lessee, so we have to contend with the added challenge of introducing consumers into the exchange of data.”
Evans provided a brief synopsis of State Farm’s collaboration with Ford, announced in August 2020, in which the insurer is integrating directly with the car itself as they look at solutions around rating, policies and driving behaviors.
“The objective is to develop and understand the capabilities, leverage the sophistication, and use this technology to increase efficiencies in claims handling," he said. "There’s still a lot to learn.”
Tagliapietra, business development leader for NuGen IT, rounded out the series of presenters. He began by discussing recent trends related to OEs’ involvement in the repair process.
“With the rise of and refinement to certification networks, there’s an enhanced ability to interact with the networks the manufacturers are establishing and see how the vehicles are being repaired," Tagliapietra said. "There’s a changing paradigm of how OE repair information is utilized and delivered, and following the OE repair procedures exactly as they’re written is absolutely critical for properly repairing EVs.
“OEM Certification network shops must follow repair procedures to be aligned in understanding what repairs are needed to restore EVs to their pre-loss condition,” Tagliapietra continued. “The future of these networks is going to be just as important to insurers as they are to the OEMs, emphasizing the fact that there needs to be a level of collaboration and understanding between manufacturers and insurance companies that has not previously existed to the level that will be necessary with EVs.”
Acknowledging shops’ struggle to obtain OEM repair procedures effectively, Tagliapietra suggested the repair procedures should be available before the estimate is even written.
“Shops need to understand the safety measures that need to be considered before they touch the car, and we are examining different ways to deliver that information more efficiently. Education is vital," Tagliapietra said. "Repairers will be required to access OEM repair procedures on every single vehicle going forward, not just for structural damages---we cannot continue down that path as an industry and stay in alignment.
"Insurers, as well as shops, need to understand and agree on these procedures so that shops can be fairly reimbursed for their efforts.”
Tagliapietra believes the data in the repair orders needs to be made available to the different key stakeholders in the industry.
“CIECA standards are essential to provide access to the data participants need to achieve their business objectives,” he said. “So many entities participate in the repair process now, not just the insurer, OEM and collision repair shop. We need to evaluate how that information is accessed, ingested and memorialized so it can be played back to the industry for the benefit of everyone.
“Collaboration is critical. These relationships need to be fostered if everyone is going to succeed and win," Tagliapietra continued. "Everyone is dependent on collision repairers to complete a quality repair, but it’s first incumbent on manufacturers, insurers and information providers to facilitate that and share the information the shops need.
"We cannot allow a few to monopolize that information when it’s essential for the good of the whole industry.”
CIECA then opened the webinar up for a question-and-answer session.
As January’s CIECAST concluded, Barry reminded attendees the webinar is eligible for credit through the Automotive Management Institute.
The next CIECAST, scheduled for Feb. 25, will highlight the next generation of CIECA standards. The organization is looking for interested parties to join in the development of those standards.
For more information on CIECA and the next CIECAST, visit cieca.com.