Thatcham Research claims little is known about how repair and insurance processes work for EVs
Thatcham Research will examine ‘pain points’ for electric cars, helping shape new era for car insurance
Thatcham Research will lead a five-month investigation into EV repair and salvage processes to help insurance companies prepare for the post-ICE era.
The safety specialist has received funding for the project from Innovate UK, the government-backed national innovation agency.
The non-profit firm, which helps to run the Euro NCAP crash-testing program, claims that little is currently known about how the repair and insurance processes work for EVs and how they differ from those for ICE cars.
The research project will initially focus on identifying differences in the workflow between EVs and ICE vehicles, as well as potential “pain points”.
Thatcham’s head of engineering, Adrian Watson, said: “In many circumstances, EV accident repair is no different from ICE vehicles [repair]. But under the hood lie everyday essentials, such as safe, cost-effective, timely post-accident repair and the surrounding claims process so critical to putting any new vehicle on the road. And nowhere is the difference between EV and ICE more clearly underlined than in the insurance-claim chain.”
The research project will pay additional attention to the effect of collisions on batteries, as their high cost and relative fragility poses extra challenges for insurance.
Thatcham has partnered with insurance firm LV to utilise real-world claims data for its modelling; as well as salvage, dismantling and recycling specialist Synetiq for insight on recycling as much of a terminally crashed EV as possible.
LV networks and engineering boss Chris Payne called the project “exciting and crucial”, adding that it will “not only have a positive impact on claims costs but will also feed a healthy second-hand EV market”.
On the collaborative nature of the research project, Watson said: “It’s vital that the industry comes together to ensure customer expectations of owning, insuring and repairing an EV can be met, and that the experience can be better than they’re used to with an ICE [vehicle].”
The investigation follows a recent warning from the Financial Conduct Authority that it had evidence insurers were undervaluing written-off cars, only increasing their offers to a full value when customers complained.