Rumors that have been circulating for several months suggest that the costs of repairing electric cars could be exorbitant. Or in any case higher than on thermal models. It is also a question of scrap at the slightest collision. Our colleagues from Road and Track looked into the matter and it turns out that it is wrong.
Electrics are destroyed less often than thermals
In early 2023, many insurers were concerned to see electric vehicles being scrapped, despite their low mileage and minor accidents. Not least because of their non-repairable battery packs. The models of the American manufacturer Tesla were particularly targeted by these hallway noises. It’s time to deconstruct this misinformation. This is not true and the numbers say so. A study of Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows that on “ all claims for compensation in the United States, thermal cars are three times more likely to be destroyed after an accident compared to electric vehicles ».
The overall cost of repairs has increased by 30% in 3 years
In reality, the problem does not come from electric cars. According to Matt Moore, Senior Vice President of HLDI, “ the cost of refurbishing a recent model has increased by 30% in three years “. At the end of 2023, the average amount of a reparable loss should reach ” record figure of $5,000 on American soil. The culprit is therefore not the engine or the battery of the vehicles. The automobile industry has been transformed and the vehicles in circulation are more and more ” complex and luxurious “. New sensors and other safety-related technologies are extremely expensive to repair.
The increase in SUV sales plays an important role in this phenomenon. According to Ryan Mandell, claims data manager at Mitchell, a software provider for insurers, “ modern digital architecture is so advanced that systems are disrupted beyond the point of impact. Getting a car back to the way it was before the disaster is harder today than at any time in history, and it will only get worse. “. It is therefore not repairs to electric cars that cost more, but simply an evolution of the vehicle fleet.
When an electric vehicle has an accident, its weak point is often its battery. Insurance companies generally apply a policy of ” prudence » and can decide to change the entire battery pack. In this case, the cost of repairing electric models can actually increase. However, it is very rarely necessary to change the entire battery. If repairers have difficulty checking the condition of the battery, insurance companies may require a complete replacement. The price of a battery can reach 10,000, 15,000 or even 20,000 euros. It is an aberration both economically and ecologically. So there is still a lot of work to be done on this. But as the HLDI figures show, repairs on electrified cars don’t cost much more than repairs on their thermal counterparts.