According to a report by Reuters, electric cars are being written off for minor damage to battery packs after accidents because there is no way to repair them.
Insurance companies are increasingly being forced to permanently remove cars from the road following minor collisions, raising premiums on electric vehicles (EVs).
According to the report, scratched and mildly damaged battery packs are “piling up in scrap yards in some countries,” with experts claiming that batteries in expensive Tesla Y SUVs have “zero reparability” because they are a structural part of the car.
That means that any damage to them will almost certainly render the vehicle uneconomical to repair, forcing insurance companies to write them off.
When the news agency combed through EV salvage sales in the United States and Europe, it discovered a large number of low-mileage Teslas, as well as models from Nissan, Hyundai, Stellantis, BMW, Renault, and others.
Most car manufacturers contacted by Reuters said their battery packs are repairable, but few were “willing to share access to battery data.”
Nissan and Renault both told Reuters that individual modules in their EVs can be replaced, while Stellantis said it does not repair batteries after accidents in which the air bags deploy and that it strongly believes in data privacy.
Other manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors, say they have designed their vehicles to made the battery packs easier to repair.
However, Tesla has taken the opposite approach.
The battery pack in Tesla’s popular Model Y crossover – the best-selling EV in the United Kingdom in 2022 – is a structural component of the vehicle.
While this reduces Tesla’s production costs, having the pack as part of the vehicle structure increases the likelihood of it being damaged in an accident.
This increases the likelihood of consumers having their vehicles written off, even after minor collisions.