Electric cars with only minor battery damage already often economically totaled

March 29, 2023

Fewer parts

You read it often: electric cars have far fewer parts than cars with traditional powertrains. In short: so much less can break down in an EV. But if the most important component – the battery pack – breaks down, you have a big problem. In fact, battery packs are the most expensive part of an EV, making up about half of the total price. If the package is not repairable, the car is soon economically totaled.


With many electric cars, it is difficult or sometimes impossible to repair a battery. Insurance companies are therefore forced to write off an EV completely early on. Even if there is only minor damage to the battery pack and only a few thousand kilometers on the odometer. Some insurers think a small scratch on the battery pack is enough to retire a car. A shame, because if an EV goes off the road early on, virtually all the benefit in terms of CO2 emissions disappears. EVs need a lot of mileage to be truly green.


Reuters came across many low-mileage Tesla cars during their research at junkyards in America and Europe, but they also found new models from Nissan, Hyundai, BMW and Renault. Experts say Tesla cars in particular are impossible to repair if the battery pack has damage. In fact, the battery pack is a structural part of the car in some models.

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