In recent years, the market for electric cars has really picked up. In the United Kingdom, 850,000 such vehicles will be sold in 3 years, while in the USA it is expected that one million such vehicles will be sold this year alone. The fact that there are electric cars (EVs) on the roads unfortunately inevitably means that they are involved in more road accidents.
This can be a serious concern, as damaged batteries can theoretically endanger the safety of the vehicle and its passengers, as they can cause electric shock, fire or even explosion. Fortunately, according to statistics, fire incidents are still extremely rare, so much so that similar cases are more common with internal combustion engines.
However, insurers are more wary of damaged electric vehicles, and there have been several examples of EVs being pulled from circulation due to minor scratches, Wired reports. If it does need to be replaced, parts are often hard to come by, and since this is a relatively new technology, there is little or no official information available on how to repair certain models. However, the cost of a battery replacement can be up to 10,000 pounds (4.3 million forints).
Mark Fryhead of engineering at Thatcham Research, told the newspaper that if we add the price of the battery to the price of labor and the insurance of the rental car, it often turns out that it is not worth repairing the car.
That is why it is possible to conclude an EV contract with very few insurance companies in England and the United States. The reason for this is that due to the battery’s lack of ability to repair and recycle, even barely damaged cars are often declared a total loss, said the spokesperson of Admiral, one of the largest British insurance companies.
What can be the solution?
When an electric car detects a collision, a special fuse can disconnect the battery. If the collision is serious, the airbags may also activate, after which the insurance company will order a battery replacement, regardless of the condition of the battery. It is Christoph Lauterwasseremployee of the Allianz Center for Technology, it would often be enough to replace pennies.
The main problem right now is that manufacturers are too cautious about releasing replacement parts for the battery and system. However, according to experts, this will continue to be the case until demand increases significantly. Another thing that can cause serious headaches for owners is that manufacturers often overprice their parts.
Of course, there are differences between the manufacturers: according to the news, for example, Tesla parts are extremely expensive and difficult to obtain.
The good news, however, is that just because some insurance companies or car manufacturers won’t allow lightly damaged axles to continue on the road, it doesn’t mean they’re completely wasted. There is, for example, Second Life EV Batteries, a company based in Dorset, England, which collects unwanted batteries and resells them to hobbyists and manufacturers who use them for various purposes. Of course, this does not mean a system-level solution, because this will also require a change in the attitude of the manufacturers and the fuse.