A new report from Trend Tracker has captured discussions from a recent cross-industry group, setting out the scale of the task for the motor insurance industry as it gears up for the government’s 2030 Road to Zero. One area which should concern insurers is the recovery and storage of battery pack vehicles, which pose a serious fire risk.
In April 2022 alone, more than one-in-four (26.4%) cars produced by UK car makers was electrified, boosted by battery electric vehicle (BEV) output up 38.2%, meaning one-in-10 cars made was powered purely by electricity.
There are now more than 150 models of plug-in cars and vans on sale in Britain and, while globally BEV sales doubled in 2021, the UK had its best ever year with more electric cars registered than over the previous five years combined. BEV registrations have surged more than 70% to 92,512 this year and, by year end, they are expected to take 16.8% of the UK car market, equivalent to one in seven sales.’
Despite this soaring growth, the group discussed how easy it was to set up a recovery business; with no qualifications, being exempt from most regulations- concluding the industry needs greater regulation. They also noted that some organisations are putting large batteries in recovery vans to provide short charge to EVs that have broken down; they are not EVs but need to be handled carefully as a result. Damaged EVs are dangerous goods.
CONVERSION KIT FREE-FOR-ALL
Another concern highlighted was the conversion to EVs from existing ICE vehicles. There is little or no legislation to deal with adding used batteries to convert vehicles. Government needs to legislate; manufacturers need to educate and ensure safety standards and insurers need to understand the risks they cover
Chris added: “It should really be against the law to work on these vehicles without the required accreditation, methods, and skills. An EV is fine when you are driving it, but when it crashes it is then a dangerous good.”
Kirsty Mckno said that a number of bodies are exploring commons standards for EV, including the ABI and Thatcham, but at present there is no single approach through from VM and underwriter, first response, recovery, repair and salvage to end of life.
She said: “EVs may ignite up to 4 weeks post-accident, which means that having a consistent standard is vital to industry and consumer safety.”
The report is here;