Although there are many benefits associated with switching from diesel and petrol engines to electric vehicles, drivers may want to be somewhat wary when considering investing in these greener models, as it seems that many insurance companies are having to write them off after accidents because there’s no way to repair or assess the damage done to battery packs.
According to Reuters, insurance providers are now being forced to write off cars that have hardly been driven because of this issue, which is leading to premiums and offsetting the gains achieved by making the switch to electric vehicles.
Furthermore, these battery packs are now starting to pile up in scrap yards in some countries around the world, which is something of an issue in an industry that promotes itself as serving a more circular way of working.
Because these battery packs are very expensive (often tens of thousands of pounds), they represent up to 50 per cent of the cost associated with an electric car, which can make it uneconomical to replace them when damage is sustained.
Although these vehicles only make up a small fraction of the cars on the road at the moment, this trend of writing off low-mileage zero-emission makes and models appears to be growing.
Matthew Avery, research director at automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research, commented on this development, saying: “We’re buying electric cars for sustainability reasons. But an electric vehicle isn’t very sustainable if you’ve got to throw the battery away after a minor collision.”
Last year, the firm launched a five-month research project to investigate electric vehicle collision repair and salvage processes, assessing the impact these have on insurance claims and the associated costs.
Insurance companies are also now looking into green methods of repair to help support the wider adoption of these vehicles, which will be necessary in order to achieve the 2050 goal of hitting net zero carbon emissions.
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