According to a recent Reuters report (via Automotive News), a lack of standards for the repair and replacement of EV battery packs may result in higher insurance premiums.
According to the report, battery packs can account for up to 50% of an EV’s price, making it frequently unprofitable to replace them. It’s also more typical to replace damaged battery packs rather than repair them, even though there is no set procedure for doing so. In some cases that could lead to relatively new vehicles being “totaled” by insurance companies over minor damage.
According to the report, different automakers have different battery pack repairability policies. Ford claimed that individual battery modules could be changed and that it had created a simpler method of changing the battery pack tray in the event that the exterior is damaged. Nissan and Renault also claimed that modules could be changed without throwing away the entire pack, but they added that this could only be done at dealerships or other facilities connected to the manufacturer.
The structural pack in more recent models of the Tesla Model Y, which uses 4680-format cells, cannot be repaired, according to the report. Stellantis stated that it does not repair batteries after crashes where the airbags deploy.
Repairability may also be a problem with cell-to-pack technology that omits modules to increase performance and energy density. Beginning with Geely’s Zeekr brand and possibly extending to upcoming Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis models, Chinese battery manufacturer CATL is beginning to offer it to automakers. Although no company has yet publicly stated plans to use either configuration in the United States, Chinese startup Beta Auto hopes to advance the idea with cell-to-chassis applications.-market vehicles.General Motors said its new Ultium battery packs are designed to be repaired at the module level, and it has previously boasted that its wireless battery management system and pack structure will allow new cell designs without redesigning the pack—and it might permit simpler pack repair.