Published on January 1st, 2024 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Accident Electric Cars Are Written Off And NOT Fixed
Reuters report shows that Insurance providers are forced to write-off electric cars
There is a lot of chatter on social media about how efficient and effective electric vehicles are for our future and WHY we must ALL convert our petrol sipping vehicles at the soonest.
Now, there is another side to this story that Reuters shared recently and it looks like it carries a lot of weight about how the European Union and its member states just want clean air on their side of the world while sacrificing the rest of the planet to build their emission free vehicles.
Here is part of the article from Reuters and the EV battery problems that expose a hole in the green “circular economy” touted by electric car manufacturers who are FORCED to comply with EU regulations.
At Synetiq, the UK’s largest salvage company, head of operations Michael Hill said over the last 12 months the number of EVs in the isolation bay – where they must be checked to avoid fire risk – at the firm’s Doncaster yard has soared, from perhaps a dozen units every three days to up to 20 units per day.
“We’ve seen a really big shift and it’s across all manufacturers,” Hill said.
The UK currently has no EV battery recycling facilities, so Synetiq has to remove the batteries from written-off cars and store them in containers. Hill estimated at least 95 percent of the cells in the hundreds of EV battery packs – and thousands of hybrid battery packs – Synetiq has stored at Doncaster are undamaged and should be reused.
It already costs more to insure most electric cars than traditional petrol and diesel powered cars in mature car markets.
According to online brokerage Policygenius, the average U.S. monthly electric cars insurance payment in 2023 is USD206, which is 27 percent more than for a combustion-engine model.
According to Bankrate, an online publisher of financial content, U.S. insurers know that “if even a minor accident results in damage to the battery pack … the cost to replace this key component may exceed USD15,000.” (which is about RM71,200 at todays exchange rate)
A replacement battery for a Tesla Model 3 can cost up to USD20,000 (about RM95,000), for a vehicle that retails at around USD43,000 (about RM205,000) but depreciates quickly over time.
Andy Keane, UK commercial motor product manager at French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA), said expensive replacement batteries “may sometimes make replacing a battery unfeasible.”
There are a growing number of repair shops specializing in repairing EVs and replacing batteries. In Phoenix, Arizona, Gruber Motor Co has mostly focused on replacing batteries in older Tesla models.
But insurers cannot access Tesla’s battery data, so they have taken a cautious approach, owner Peter Gruber said.
“An insurance company is not going to take that risk because they’re facing a lawsuit later on if something happens with that vehicle and they did not total it,” he said.
The British government is funding research into EV insurance “pain points” led by Thatcham, Synetiq and insurer LV=.
Recently adopted EU battery regulations do not specifically address battery repairs, but they did ask the European Commission to encourage standards to “facilitate maintenance, repair and repurposing,” a commission source said.
Insurers said they know how to fix the problem – make batteries in smaller sections, or modules, that are simpler to fix, and open diagnostics data to third parties to determine battery cell health.
Individual U.S. insurers declined to comment.
But Tony Cotto, director of auto and underwriting policy at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said “consumer access to vehicle-generated data will further enhance driver safety and policyholders’ satisfaction … by facilitating the entire repair process.”
Lack of access to critical diagnostic data was raised in mid-March in a class action filed against Tesla in U.S. District Court in California.
Insurers said failure to act will cost consumers.
EV battery damage makes up just a few percent of Allianz‘s motor insurance claims, but 8% of claims costs in Germany, Lauterwasser said. Germany’s insurers pool data on vehicle claims data and adjust premium rates annually.
“If the cost for a certain model gets higher it will raise premium levels because the rating goes up,” Lauterwasser said.