For many electric vehicles, there is no way to repair or assess even slightly damaged battery packs after accidents, forcing insurance companies to write off cars with few miles - leading to higher premiums and undercutting gains from going electric.
And now those battery packs are piling up in scrapyards in some countries, a previously unreported and expensive gap in what was supposed to be a “circular economy.”
“We’re buying electric cars for sustainability reasons,” said Matthew Avery, research director at automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research. “But an EV isn’t very sustainable if you’ve got to throw the battery away after a minor collision.”
The above would seem to mean insurance premiums for EVs will go through the roof in the short term. I assume EV manufacturers will strengthen battery pack compartments to prevent the totaling of an EV vehicle.
First, I believe dealers don’t wish to fool around with repairing battery packs. They just want to replace the whole pack. 2 reason methinks. 1)more profit in battery pack replacement. 2) Finding bad cells then returning vehicle to customer might lead to service headaches as a “repaired” battery pack might stay repaired for very long & then might have to be repaired for free under warranty.
Second, I know there are independent EV & hybrid service centers that repair battery packs. But I doubt all EV service centers are on the Tesla approved list. Repairing a Tesla at an unapproved shop would likely void the Tesla warranty. But if one’s Tesla is out of warranty, it might behoove an insurance company to worker with an insured to get their EV repaired at such a shop rather than totaling an EV. Or that might lead to a insurance company’s claim department headache that the insurance company may not wish to assume. Easier to total a EV & raise premiums.
Tesla is currently being sued in a class action suit over their repair monopoly power. Tesla is under siege as they has insufficient repair parts & state “right to repair” laws in some states.
I am sure this will shake out but the potential hassle of an EV accident might deter some potential risk adverse buyers.