More Low-Mileage Electric Vehicles with Minor Damage Being Written Off, Increasing Premiums and Negating ‘Green’ Benefits

A growing number of electric vehicles are reportedly being written off when even the slightest damage is done to their batteries – driving up owner costs and negating any environmental benefit of going “green.”

As Reuters reports, insurance companies are writing off more and more low-mileage electric vehicles that have only minor damage, because any harm to the battery packs can’t be accessed or repaired. With some Tesla models, for example, the battery packs are actually glued into the car’s structure, making them difficult to remove, replace or repair.

“A Tesla structural battery pack is going straight to the grinder,” one industry analyst told Reuters.

According to insurers and industry experts interviewed by Reuters, scrapping low-mileage electric vehicles, because they have only minor damage, comes with significant consumer costs.

Cost to Consumer:

  • Electric vehicle insurance premiums, which are already 27% higher than those for gas-powered vehicles, will continue to spike.
  • The cost to replace a battery pack can exceed $15,000.
  • The cost to replace a battery pack can constitute up to half of the price some consumers paid for their electric vehicles, prompting them to incur the financial burden of buying a new vehicle.

And, as Columnist John Stossel has noted, the production of electric vehicle batteries – and their early, frequent replacement – is anathema to the goals of the “green” movement.

Cost to Environment and “Sustainability”:

  • Electric vehicles become less “sustainable” as the number of their batteries in scrapyards grows.
  • Electric vehicle battery production emits far more CO2 than fossil-fuel models.
  • About 500,000 pounds of minerals and rock must be mined in order to make one electric vehicle battery.
  • “The electric vehicle has emitted 10 to 20 tons of carbon dioxide (from the mining, manufacturing and shipping) before it even gets to your driveway.”
  • An electric vehicle must be driven about 60,000 miles before it offsets the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a gas-powered vehicle.

Then, there’s the fire hazard.

Last October, for example, Florida’s fire departments had to respond to an unprecedented number of electric vehicle fires in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

“There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start. That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale,” Florida’s State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis reported at the time.

And, as Reuters explains, the fire risk can also present problems for salvage companies dealing with electric vehicles:

“At Synetiq, the UK’s largest salvage company, head of operations Michael Hill said over the last 12 months the number of EVs in the isolation bay – where they must be checked to avoid fire risk – at the firm’s Doncaster yard has soared, from perhaps a dozen every three days to up to 20 per day.”


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