The unbearable awkwardness of EVs - 1
A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine told me she was considering buying an EV. “You want a Tesla, eh?” I said like the humour brute that I am. No, she said, we’re thinking about getting the Dacia EV. Tesla doesn’t offer local maintenance.
I wished her luck and refrained from any further comments. Choosing a new car is everyone’s personal choice, after all, as is the desire to experiment. If we were closer, however, I might have now risked asking her a question: Have you thought about the insurance?
Insurance for EVs tends to be higher because EV prices are higher. So far, so normal. But there are other factors that have been adding to EV insurance prices and now these factors are drawing media attention. As if the EV revolution needed another obstacle. So unfair.
“Surging UK insurance premiums for electric vehicles pose a risk to their widespread adoption, analysts have warned,” the FT informed anyone willing to listen last month. The report cited data from a price comparison website that found the insurance premiums for Tesla Model 3 had added an impressive — and concerning — 66% over the past two years.
The report also said that some insurers were even wondering if they should continue providing coverage for EVs, which is just adding insult to an injury that is increasingly looking severe. Ironically, the wondering has been, in large part, sparked by actual injuries that are nowhere near severe.
It’s the battery, of course. And it’s not just in the UK. EV batteries, it appears, can get damaged in even a minor collision. And, I understand, there is no quick, reliable, and economically viable way to check whether the battery has been damaged.
This has led insurers to write off EVs after minor collisions where an ICE car would simply be directed to the nearest trusted garage for the appropriate repairs. I don’t know any insurers but I’d venture a guess they don’t like writeoffs. Does anyone? Cue higher premiums to offset some of the writeoff cost.
Tragically, it’s not just the battery writeoffs that are adding to EV insurance premiums. There is also the issue of enough garages equipped to handle EV repairs. And when I say “issue”, I mean “shortage”. No, it’s not a cruel joke.
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