Electric cars are sensitive to minor collisions. A damaged battery is difficult to repair and often has to be replaced in its entirety. That means a huge cost for buyers.
Electric cars are often praised for their reliability, as they have few moving parts. But if something breaks, it is often immediately expensive. Especially when it comes to the battery pack. Replacement is extremely expensive, which means that electric cars can quickly be declared a total loss in the event of a minor collision.
That problem is being solved, according to a new report from Reuters, because manufacturers are increasingly hiding the batteries further down the car. This means that larger batteries can be used or more space is left for luggage. Batteries are also increasingly becoming part of the chassis. This provides more rigidity and less weight because savings can be made on steel constructions. The downside, however, is that this makes the batteries more difficult to repair.
Another reason is that a lot of foam and other protective agents are used to make the battery pack more rigid. That is good for the structure of the car, but it also means that in many cases a complete battery pack must be replaced immediately in the event of a relatively minor collision – something that quickly costs 15,000 euros for most brands. And that while a partial repair of one or a few cells might also have been possible.
According to experts, for example, the Tesla Model Y is virtually impossible to repair because of the aforementioned foam, among other things. It is much easier to carry out partial repairs on the battery packs of the Model S, X, 3 and Y. Other brands are also careful about doing partial repairs. Electric Mercedes models, for example, have a sensor on board that measures the force of a collision. When it exceeds a certain limit value, a protection is triggered that disables the battery pack. Replacing the entire package is then the only option.
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