Costs mount for EV repairs

New research has revealed that although electric cars are involved in fewer collisions than their ICE counterparts, those that do crash are more likely to be written off – and if they can be repaired, repairs are more expensive due to labour and parts costs, and take significantly longer.

The German Insurance Association (GDV) compared 37 EV models against ICE equivalents over a period of three years to evaluate claims frequencies and costs. It found that EVs were responsible for up to 10% fewer accidents, and that rose to 20% when comparing comprehensive insurance claims.

One possible explanation for the lower frequency was EV drivers driving slower to conserve battery power, according to Anja Käfer-Rohrbach, deputy chief executive officer.

Repair costs

However, the downside is higher repair costs, which are up to a third higher than petrol or diesel models.

Käfer-Rohrbach said:

“On average, repairs to electric cars cost between 30% and 35% more than repairs to comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines. Moreover, some manufacturers will replace or repair drive batteries not based on the actual condition of the batteries or actual documented damages, but other factors such as airbag deployment.

“As a result, batteries are often replaced too soon. Another consequence of this is that the cost of replacing or repairing batteries may quickly exceed the vehicle’s replacement value, often causing the vehicle to be declared a total loss even if the car is still relatively new.”

This data is backed up by Solera analysis, which found that EV repair costs are up to 29% higher than ICE models,

Meanwhile, the report also said that, based on data from Thatcham Research, EV repairs take on average 14% longer than ICE repairs.