Table of contents
Table of contents
Electric vehicles aren’t more likely to be totaled after an accident that causes minor damage — a common misconception. In the first three quarters of 2023, 2020 and newer model-year EVs had a loss rate of 7.25%, while luxury internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles had a loss rate of 7.47%, according to a new report by insurance services provider Mitchell.
When compared to the loss rate for all ICE vehicles, EVs fare even better. The total loss rate for all ICE vehicles was 8.49% during the same time period.
But EVs are harder, costlier to repair
Repairs tend to cost more for EVs than ICE vehicles — $950 more, on average, in the U.S., Mitchell reports. And, in the third quarter of 2023, nearly 50% of total repair costs for EVs went to pay for labor. For ICE vehicles, labor accounts for just 41% of repair costs.
EV batteries are the main drivers of the cost difference.
On average, EVs take an additional six hours of labor to repair, largely because of the special process required to de-energize the vehicle’s electrical system and remove the battery, Mitchell reports. What’s more, EV batteries are often impossible to repair. And a new EV battery generally costs between $4,000 and $20,000, according to J.D. Power.
Some automakers say they’re making EV batteries easier to repair, Reuters reports. But Teslas, which account for 50% of all EVs sold in the U.S., continue to be problematic. Tesla has made battery packs part of car bodies, making certain models virtually unrepairable.
The EV market continues to grow. Third-quarter EV sales increased nearly 50% year over year, according to Mitchell’s report, which also notes that 14 additional electric vehicle models came on the market in 2023. And a significant federal income tax credit — $7,500 for new EVs, $4,000 for some used ones — may drive more consumers to consider going electric.