Low-Mileage EVs Often Scrapped Over Minor Battery Damage

March 21, 2023
A lack of accessible data on EV batteries and the high cost of replacing one is causing a substantial number of them to end up in scrap yards after minor collisions.

A lack of accessible data on EV batteries and the high cost of replacing one is causing a substantial number of them to end up in scrap yards after minor collisions, Reuters reports.

With battery packs typically costing tens of thousands of dollars, they often make up half of the vehicles’ prices. For example, Tesla’s Model 3 battery can cost “up to $20,000,” with the vehicle itself sitting “at around $43,000” in value. 

Due to the high cost and lack of “third-party access to battery cell data,” insurance companies choose to scrap the vehicles. 

Tesla recently has been incorporating the battery into the body of the car to save money on production costs. However, this makes it incredibly difficult to remove the battery, resulting in more scrapped Teslas and as Reuters points out, “pushing those costs back to consumers.”

Sandy Munro, head of Munro & Associates, a company providing consultation on EV repairs, stated that “a Tesla structural battery pack is going straight to the grinder.”

Additionally, the environmental benefits of EVs can be rendered null when they are scrapped at early stages. 

The CO2 emission from creating EV batteries outweighs “fossil-fuel models,” Allianz Center for Technology Managing Director Christoph Lauterwasser noted. The emissions are only offset after the vehicle has driven for thousands of miles.

“ … An EV isn't very sustainable if you've got to throw the battery away after a minor collision,” Matthew Avery, research director at Thatcham Research, stated.

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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