According to a US media report, many insurers at Tesla also consider almost new cars to be irreparable after an accident. One reason might be the battery, which is often replaced in e-cars after accidents for safety reasons.

One advantage of the electric car is the low maintenance costs: there are no oil changes or error-prone exhaust systems, the brake pads are protected by the generator braking and there are no other wearing parts of a combustion engine at Tesla and Co. But when a Stromer has an accident, it poses a risk not only for rescue workers. Many insurance companies also apparently quickly write off Teslas as a total loss if they were involved in a crash. This is reported by the Reuters news agency, based on data from several US insurance companies.

The reporters evaluated insurance auctions where damaged Teslas were auctioned off, for example at one of the largest online auctioneers “Copart”. According to its own statements, the company only auctions “repairable and used” cars, i.e. vehicles that were not completely destroyed after a crash, but can still be repaired at a reasonable cost.

Spot checks on the Coparts site show that the majority of vehicles, at least apparently, do not have body damage so severe that it would no longer be repairable.

According to Reuters, most of the 120 Tesla Model Y SUVs examined had less than 10,000 miles (around 16,000 kilometers) on the clock, so they were almost new. With new prices between $60,000 and $80,000, you should assume that many cars are still worth repairing. According to the report, the insurance companies – the insurers State Farm, Geico and Progressive are called – calculate repair costs of up to 50,000 US dollars and then prefer to write off the electric cars as a total loss.

Tesla boss Elon Musk was recently annoyed when presenting the quarterly figures that some insurers were now demanding “incomprehensibly high premiums” from Tesla drivers. One now wants to make changes to the vehicle design and the software in order to reduce repair costs.

However, dented bumpers are unlikely to be the cause of an e-car becoming a problem for the workshop. The reasons for the high costs are not mentioned in the available insurance data. However, it can be assumed that the main reason is the battery. It is difficult to replace due to its fixed integration into the vehicle structure and is known to be by far the most expensive component in an electric car. Since even slightly damaged batteries have a higher risk of fire, according to information from the automotive industry, in many cases the only option is a complete replacement to rule out the risk of fire from undetected damage.

The battery is also the most expensive part of the vehicle for other manufacturers. An exchange quickly costs high five-digit sums, reports “Mercedes charges 15,209.22 euros for a defective battery in the EQA, 19,603.12 euros for the EQS and even 27,230.31 euros for the EQV. It is cheaper with a Smart: 6537.92 is said to be a new battery for the Smart EQ fortwo and the Smart EQ forfour  cost”, according to the online magazine. However, points out that an exchange due to a defect or a simply “used” battery is rarely necessary. So the problem is not the durability of traction batteries in the car, but the handling of damaged batteries.

Another factor also increases the repair costs of modern cars, regardless of their drive type: the large number of sensors and electronics for modern assistance systems. Drivers sometimes pay for the benefits of the electronic helpers with higher repair costs.