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Cheaper but non-repairable lithium batteries: no more scrap cars? Cheaper but non-repairable lithium batteries: no more scrap cars?

Sale of scrap electric cars on the rise as insurance companies keep rates high, Reuters survey finds

March 21, 2023 – 3:00 p.m.

The possibility of repair high voltage batteries of electric cars this is a condition that fewer and fewer manufacturers will take into account in the engineering phases. This is already the case with the structural battery in the Tesla Model Y and in the future Tesla will change the way cars are built to reduce costs by up to -50%. Tesla is just one of many manufacturers electric car which, according to a Reuters survey, will be increasingly not economical to repair in case of battery damage. Let’s try to understand why and what implications with insurance will lead this trend.


A Reuters analysis indicates that with the spread of electric vehicles, sales of electric vehicles for scrap are increasing with low mileage in the US and Europe. The British press agency refers to a large number of Tesla, Nissan, Hyundai, Stellantis, BMW and Renault among others. Ford and General Motors they would be the only manufacturers to push on the repairability of lithium batteries. In the latest report on Electric and Connected Cars: Impact on the Aftermarket and Consumers from SicurAUTO.it, we instead researched which manufacturers perform repairs on the authorized network in Italy. Tesla is a good example because its structural battery with 4680 cells is a package that in the analysis of Sandy Munro (Munro & Associates in Michigan, dismantles vehicles and informs automakers of critical issues that can be improved) has been defined with zero repairability and intended for disposal.


There non-repairability of lithium-ion batteries, because perhaps the replacement of the damaged package is necessary with an excessive expense compared to the market value of the vehicle, also impacts the actual circularity, according to Reuters. Electric vehicles are piling up in UK car scrapyards, but there is still no lithium battery recycling facility. Synetiq, a company specializing in the recovery of end-of-life vehicles, announces that at the Doncaster depot the arrival of electrified vehicles has increased from a dozen every 3 days to a maximum of 20 per day. On this site, the high voltage batteries must be separated from the vehicles and stored in suitable containers. Site manager Michael Hill said that at least 95% batteries vehicles has no visible damage and can be reused.


The involvement most feared by motorists is also economic, since insurance companies could raise rates further. In 2023 – according to data reported by Reuters – insuring an electric car in the USA is expensive $206 per month, 27% more compared to an equivalent combustion engine car. The problem would already be linked to the scarcity of technical information on the repair of high-voltage batteries on which Companies estimate the risks and costs of repairing an electric car. In the United States, many independent workshops have been established to repair and replace the batteries of older Tesla models. But for the newer ones, you have to go exclusively to the Tesla authorized network, with higher costs, which has found itself at the center of two class action lawsuits. Also in Europe, the repairability of batteries is not covered by the standards in force, but work is underway in this direction. facilitate maintenance, repair and reusea European Commission source told Reuters.

Source : Sicur Auto


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