Electric Vehicles and damage repair cost

We recently encountered an article on damage cost on EV’s.

According to the article published by a leading Insurer, damage repair cost on electric vehicles are approximately 25% higher than cars with internal combustion engines. There are several reasons for the considerable difference in repair costs. One has to do with the vehicle construction.

Expensive consequences of design

One example is the location of the plug-in connection that impacts repair cost. Typically these are located on the front or back and therefore are susceptible to damage in minor collisions. A second shortcoming is the location of the battery. In many cases the battery packs need replacing even in minor collisions which yields a relatively high invoice. Supply and demand is also a factor when considering  the repair expertise that is need. EV repair specialists are currently in short supply and only a limited number of garages have the knowledge and resources to carry out EV repair work. The result: a money-consuming move to the nearest address that is adequately equipped.

EV Accidents

Data analysis shows that EV’s are significantly less involved in accidents: around 25%. There wasn’t a ready-made answer to the question why. Is it because this new category of vehicles is proportionately equipped with more safety and driving assistance systems? Or is it more about the limited use of these vehicles, often as a second car, with a modest radius of action and therefore fewer kilometres on the road surface?

Our observations and questions

On inquiry, a number of large repair chains in Belgium and the Netherlands indicated that repairs to electric vehicles on average are around 30% more expensive. The share of non-standardised work (described in Informex) has seen a rising trend in recent years, where there was a sharp decline for vehicles with a combustion engine. The average cost also showed an increase during the same period, because of a few factors:

  • such as a higher degree of specialisation that is required
  • infrastructure adjustments
  • expensive training
  • longer lead times due to the exclusivity of parts

However, it was indicated that these findings should be taken with a pinch of salt, since the share of electric vehicle repairs represents still a very limited proportion of the total.

Though EV repair costs are currently higher than these for similar repairs on vehicles with a combustion engine, the total damage cost for EV’s isn’t necessarily much higher. It is our own 115.000 km experience in an EV that can confirm that users are planning their trip more thought out and driving in a more defensive manner which makes EV’s less involved in incidents. Furthermore, due to the regenerative braking and the energy saving of that, EV drivers tend to be more pro-active in traffic. Next to that we estimate that repair cost will go down once more EV vehicles are on the road and the volume of repairs will be more substantial.

This topic underlines again the importance for fleet owners to have transparency in their insurance spend, claim cost and risk profiles of drivers.
Fleet360 is consistently saving 10 to 25% on insurance spend for our clients.

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