Why Are UK Drivers Swerving Electric Cars? Insights From EIS Here

Rory Yates, Global Strategic Lead at insurance platform provider, EIS has some thoughts on the slow take up of electric cars across the UK. Arguably the biggest reason is battery pack charging on the road, which is still something of a lottery, with different charging systems, patchy maintenance of units on the blink and excess demand at motorway services which where people on long journeys logically want extra charge quickly. 
Then there is insurance, as Rory notes;
Currently, insurance is higher for electric cars than a petrol or diesel vehicle (or otherwise termed ICE vehicles). The insurance industry is commonly applying a higher group rating to electric cars compared to traditional ICE vehicles, this is largely because servicing and parts for electric vehicles are currently more specialised.
Although it is important to remember other factors such as the driver risk etc. will also be taken into account, and some insurers I’ve spoken to are seeing a more favourable driver in the initial uptake of EV’s. So this skew may rebalance and we will see a further increase in price.

In the US we are seeing data on repairability which further supports the likely higher cost problem continuing for some time. E.g. “Electric car collision repairs also require 90.75% OEM parts to complete on average, as opposed to 66.50% for internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs also generally have a lower percentage of repairable parts (13.49% versus 19.20%) and a longer paint refinishing time (8.51 versus 8.02 hours).”

New research data from European insurer AXA has found that when electric cars crash, they’re more expensive to fix and can do more damage than a comparable combustion-engined vehicle.


It’s a good question; heavier vehicles cause more road wear, plus tyre and brake dust in urban areas, then there is the dubious supply chain on battery ingredients. Here’s Rory;

A worrying sign for the environmental credentials of EV’s is that these vehicles are not built in circular economies, and with EVs already being written off questions are being asked about how the tech, batteries and other materials are being re-used in car production or through other recycling methods like those being pioneered by UK businesses such as N2S.

Even though an electric vehicle may only appear to have cosmetic damage after a collision, any battery defect requires replacement. Insurers are all but forced to write the car off rather than replacing the expensive parts, due to electric-car batteries costing as much as half of the vehicle’s value. More background here by the way.

We are at an early stage of learning and understanding and really strong feedback loops will be needed between OEMs and insurers, as well as repair networks. Preparing repairs and breakdown services better to support getting these vehicles back on the road will become ever more important.

Equally, some of these cars are starting to get far more connected and intelligent, capable of diagnosing faults and self reporting claims risk avoidance and insurance service could now be embedded into the vehicles, becoming usage based and helping drivers to avoid risks.

About alastair walker 12524 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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