EV Battery Fire. Source Facebook, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject

UK Government Report: The Automobile Industry Does Not Know How to Repair EV Batteries

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Geoff Buys Cars; Even minor accidents often lead to a £14,200 – £29,500 battery write-off.

Electric vehicle repair costs revealed versus ICE equivalent

05/07/2023 in Electric fleet news

The research, published by Thatcham Research and funded by the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, highlights the technical and practical differences between battery electric vehicle (BEVs) and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle insurance claims processes.

Thatcham Research’s data-driven modelling shows that in 2022, 9,400 vehicles were potentially involved in collisions resulting in battery inclusion in the repair. This is estimated to reach up to 260,000 vehicles annually by 2035.

Adrian Watson, head of engineering research, Thatcham Research, said: “Without meaningful change, there is a strong likelihood that claims costs will continue to rise disproportionally.

“Much of the motor insurance industry is yet to adapt to mass BEV adoption challenges, and the implications remain unquantified on repair capacity, training and skills, cost, and the lifetime sustainability of BEVs.

“This lack of awareness means many BEVs are often deemed irreparable, leading to premature write-offs because of high battery cost and the lack of value the UK ecosystem can recover from them.”

Currently, the cost of a replacement HV battery is causing a significant increase in the risk of ‘total loss’ or write-offs.

The cost of HV batteries varies widely from high-end vehicles, currently costing £29,500, to the low-end costing £14,200.

If the vehicle cannot be safely stored at the repair centre there will be further costs associated with transportation to and from an alternative location, storage at the alternative location, along with a longer duration of hire vehicle.

Read more: https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/latest-fleet-news/electric-fleet-news/2023/07/05/electric-vehicle-repair-costs-revealed-versus-ice-equivalent

A video explanation from Geoff Buys Cars;

The report is available here.

For now it looks like insurance companies are mostly absorbing the losses of covering EVs, but I doubt this situation is sustainable.

When I hit a kangaroo a few years ago, my vehicle was still drivable, but there was a big dent in front left of the vehicle, which would have involved the battery if I was driving an EV. My internal combustion vehicle required about $1000 of repairs from memory. An equivalent EV repair could easily have been one of those £14,200 – £29,500 write-offs.

$1000 vs £29,500 – that’s a big difference in terms of insurance risk.

The report calls for the development of battery repair skills to mitigate this disparity, rather than expensive battery write-offs, but will battery repair ever been an acceptable option?

While Thatcham Research claims “technical solutions do exist”, can any of you imagine accepting an EV with a “repaired” battery pack? How much temptation will there be for EV battery repairers to cut corners, to boost profits by pushing the margin on what level of battery damage is acceptable, for the battery to be included in a “repaired” battery pack?

It wouldn’t take many battery repair scandals and deadly insurance repair fires to kill any attempt to make EV battery repair a thing.

Even if battery repairers are honest, if a battery looks OK, and even if battery cells pass X-ray inspection, any one of those cells could still contain micro-scale crash damage which turns the battery pack into a ticking time bomb.

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Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 3:16 am

Inevitably, this will make electric cars much more expensive to insure than ice cars. Electric cars will be unaffordable for most people. I presume that is why Greens are so keen to ban petrol/diesel cars which are actually affordable for most people. Some Greens have actually said that their desired aim is to cut car ownership to a small fraction of its current level. Only the elite will be able to afford to drive cars in the future.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 3:28 am

Greenpeace has been saying for years that there are too many cars. They support any initiative which will reduce the availability of cars for the masses. Greenpeace despises ordinary people and wants them to only use public transport.


Steve Case
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 5:14 am

And those “15 minute communities” the “You will own nothing and be happy” crowd wants everybody but them to live in, means those ugly Communist block high rises.

There’s a lot of those going up already.

Reply to  Steve Case
July 10, 2023 8:25 am

I hear there’s a bunch of them in varying condition of completion in China now. A bunch of completed ones are pretty much empty.
I guess the survivors of the cull will have to move to China for suitable living quarters.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 5:24 am

With the advent of autonomous EVs those that couldn’t afford a personal vehicle would be subjected to utilizing hire cars as a sole means of transportation. You call a number and 5 minutes later a car parks itself in your driveway. It takes you to your destinations then returns you home and, after dropping you off, drives away. You’re billed for the cost

Reply to  Bryan A
July 10, 2023 5:53 am

That can be done with ICE vehicles.

Bryan A
Reply to  HotScot
July 10, 2023 6:32 am

Except that most ICE cars are affordable by the masses, Used Cars especially.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 10, 2023 3:51 pm

5 minutes later? In your dreams, it will be closer to 30 to 60 minutes.

Bryan A
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2023 4:45 pm

More than likely, they would probably need to recharge first. I would hate to Not have a personal vehicle and have to BUG OUT in the event of an approaching catastrophe like a Forest Fire. Paradise would have been a total loss buildings and population as everyone would be waiting for an EV hire car to arrive so they could evacuate

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
July 11, 2023 8:48 am

Or hours, if they’re all plugged on awaiting a charge before they can be dispatched.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bryan A
July 11, 2023 8:47 am

More like 5 HOURS later, when the number of ” for hire” cars is too small and/or none are available as they are all getting “recharged.”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 5:28 am

A reduction in cars on the road will considerably reduce the number of two or more vehicle collisions. That should bring insurance premiums down.
For those fortunate to be able to afford the car in the first place

William Howard
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 5:57 am

dream on

Bryan A
Reply to  William Howard
July 10, 2023 4:48 pm
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 6:44 am

A reduction in cars on the road will considerably increase government taxation per car (by means in addition to tax per gallon of gasoline) in order to at least pay for existing road/highway/freeway infrastructure and maintenance of such.

You’ll pay for that either directly (if you can afford to own a car) or indirectly via rental or taxi charges.

The beast, having grown accustomed to this revenue stream, must continue to be fed.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 10, 2023 8:16 am

Expect a major tax increase on shoes, bicycles and energy. (to name a few)

Bryan A
Reply to  Fraizer
July 10, 2023 4:49 pm

The Fab Four Prophets

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 7:55 am

Imagine a dark winters’ day and a fog bound A road or motorway – pile up involves EVs, cars and others; fire breaks out in EV’s, spreads to ICE and others because they cannot be put out quickly. It is not the fact of less cars – that might happen post SARS COV2 for other reasons – it is the potential greater damage/conflagration that is more likely to be caused that will spook Insurers.

John XB
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 11, 2023 5:31 am

And would reduce the revenue to insurers, and thus a reduction of insurers (reduced competition) as too many insurers would be chasing too few consumers, therefore premiums would go up.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 11, 2023 9:24 am

I read somewhere that some 30% of accidents are caused by drunk drivers. Therefore, 70% of the drivers are sober. Ergo, remove the drivers involved in 70% of the accidents. Problem solved.

Rick C
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 6:44 am

The most effective way to reduce the number of cars is to reduce the number of people. But that’s the real goal of the anti-human activists anyway.

Reply to  Rick C
July 10, 2023 8:22 am

That’s the only truth.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 7:43 am

Greenpeace despises ordinary people and wants them to only use public transport.

They don’t realize that, to the elites, most of them are “ordinary people”

Reply to  Tony_G
July 10, 2023 8:29 am

Just cannon fodder. To be eliminated when no longer needed just like the Brown Shirts.

Reply to  Tony_G
July 10, 2023 2:47 pm

Most “Greens” I have met, I would consider sub-ordinary people. !

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 9:40 am

Not only Greenpeace – the WEF have issued a report calling for a 75% reduction in vehicles on roads globally by 2050 – Benchmarking the Transition to Sustainable Urban Mobility

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 5:37 am

I would bet that the costs to insure EVs will be spread over ICE cars as well making insurance for all cars more expensive.

Reply to  Barnes Moore
July 10, 2023 5:54 am


Reply to  Barnes Moore
July 10, 2023 8:52 am

That’s certainly happened to my renewal this year….. !

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Barnes Moore
July 10, 2023 11:07 am

Of course, big brother won’t give them any choice.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 8:56 am

Inevitably, this will make electric cars much more expensive to insure …”

Not just EVs. Part of the cost of insurance takes into account the damage that you do to other vehicles should you be involved in an accident that is your fault.

EVs are going to make everyone’s insurance cost more.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 9:15 am

 Electric cars will be unaffordable for most people” That is the endgame for leftards, they hate the fact people are able to travel unrestricted and transport large amounts of goods with them as they do so.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 1:15 pm

NO, it will most likely make ALL vehicles much more expensive to insure.

Phillip Bratby
July 10, 2023 3:20 am

UK Government Report: ‘The UK Government does not know how to do anything’.

Ron Long
July 10, 2023 3:22 am

Thanks, Eric. I wonder what the resolution between house insurance (doesn’t allow parking EV’s inside attached garage) and car insurers will be, one is expensive and limiting and the other is in denial? Looks like overall EV costs are about to explode. Enter the delusional politicians who guarantee a disaster. What’s wrong with this picture that even low-information voters can’t understand?

John XB
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 11, 2023 5:42 am

The insurance company business model is to make most of its money from the return on investing the premiums received, rather than a positive balance between premiums received and claims paid out. This means a net profit even if claims paid exceeds premiums received over the period.

It is for this reason insurers delay pay-out to meet a claim for as long as possible – millions kept under investment even for just a few days more gives a considerable return.

It’s just like banking: banks offer you interest to encourage them to deposit your cash with them; insurance companies offer insurance as an incentive to ‘deposit’ your cash with them.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 11, 2023 10:42 am

Interestingly, I saw a presentation from an insurance industry representative that suggested bev claims were not outsized despite supposedly accounting for use cases, etc.

But I can’t help but think that any sizable market penetration for bevs will rapidly change that landscape. Occasional use cars just aren’t going to be representative of full-time car use loss experience, no matter how many statistical adjustments are applied.

B Zipperer
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
July 11, 2023 7:03 pm

In the Spring of 2022 I got 2 insurance quotes on both a new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid versus a USED Tesla 3 (2019 0r 2021). The Tesla was ~$600/year more to insure. I was told it was because they are more expensive to repair.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ron Long
July 10, 2023 4:51 am

The home insurance companies will just add an exlusion for fires caused by BEVs parked inside. It will be in the fine print but eventually everyone will get the memo and then BEV sales will plummet.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 10, 2023 8:55 am


But how many people park their cars inside their garage anyway?

come to that, in the UK, what percentage of car owners HAVE a garage!

it is certainly a factor but I doubt materially significant…..

it’s those post-crash repair costs/risks that will drive the issue I reckon….

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Hysteria
July 10, 2023 5:53 pm

Perhaps in your area, but in the U.S. suburban homes all have garages and in most gated communities cars are required to be parked in them overnight. This is where the people who can most afford BEVs live. And when these BEV fire exclusions hit the insurance for commercial garages, garage owners will not take the chance of losing everything and eventually will ban BEVs from parking in them.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 11, 2023 1:13 pm

I have to mirror what Tom in Florida wrote. Most homes in the US and Canada have garages, a lot of that due to the weather extremes we experience, between very hot & humid weather in the summer and snow/sleet/freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures in the winter. It can reach -30degC here in New England during the winter and snowfall can exceed 300mm, 600mm, or even a meter in a single storm. Average winter snowfall totals where I live can exceed 6 feet (1.9 meters) and the highest I remember is 12.5 feet (3.8 meters). Keeping vehicles outdoors in weather like that makes no sense, so most homes here have garages.

An aside, an increasing number commercial parking garages have been banning EVs or relegating them to the top level where they are out in the open. Others which had charging stations installed removed them because they didn’t want to deal with the possible liabilities.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 10, 2023 11:12 am

You think the dems would let that happen?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 10, 2023 1:03 pm

Indeed. The operator of our retirement village in New Zealand has declared a new policy that no electric vehicles may be recharged in the underground car-park. But only after I asked a pointed question at their Annual General Meeting. There are bound to be many more such decisions in the near future!

ethical voter
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 10, 2023 10:24 pm

Add to that the risk of electric bikes and scooters.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
July 10, 2023 8:18 am

“Looks like overall EV costs are about to explode.”

Yes, it does.

July 10, 2023 3:22 am

The insurance companies are in position to end the EV disaster but that isn’t likely how this will end. Taxpayers will subsidize the cost of insuring EVs — Global Warming and all …

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 4:06 am

In the field next to the unicorns and dragons. This is only accessible via Platform 9.75 at Kings Cross station in London.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 4:14 am

I wish I knew where Westminster keeps their money tree…

In the taxpayers pocket

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 4:20 am

“I wish I knew where Westminster keeps their money tree…”

Then, wonder no more. It’s mugs like me who fund it through taxes, national insurance etc etc

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 4:23 am

Answer: Mostly in other people’s (NOT Government employees) pension funds and the people’s children’s inheritances

Even after desperate bank-robber piracy levels of Inheritance Tax, the reclaiming of gifts to children and the absolute mandatory contributions to pensions (by employer as much as employee) they are still bankrupt

And that is what EVs are all about – forcing people into spending money that will attract insane levels of taxation

EV batteries are NOT repairable by any sane person and the very design of Lithium Ion cells mean that after 10 years use in an EV (where they are maintained at Full Charge) – after 10 years they have 50% of their new nameplate capacity and there’s Sweet Fanny Adams anyone can do about it.

It is an intrinsic characteristic of Lithium Ion cells and EVERYBODY in the battery business knows it

The entire business is populated by whores.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 4:46 am

That would be giving whores a bad name.

ethical voter
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 10, 2023 10:28 pm

Perhaps they are less whores and more media and politicians.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 5:22 am

 pension funds”

See Gordon Brown and his ‘windfall’ grab…

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  strativarius
July 10, 2023 5:33 am

And Thatcher’s pension holiday scheme for business. Today’s pension blackholes are a direct result.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 5:38 am

Parliament… don’tcha just lurv it.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 8:22 am

And Thatcher’s pension holiday scheme for business. Today’s pension blackholes are a direct result.”

Complete unadulterated garbage; this is a very complex subject that you cannot sum up in 7 words. Treasury meddling in funded pension fund (DB) liability methodology – very big tick; DB schemes generate “surpluses” for many different reasons not just actuarial trickery, sorry valuation bases changed over time, not least because of 80’2/90’s redundancies, poor “short service” benefits, long exposure to equities – massive tick; BoE overloading QE – small tick; BoE asleep at the wheel, not raising interest rates pick enough, causing Gilt/FI bonds to plummet in value – big tick; Brown interference eg abolished tax credits on dividends – most massive tick ( because dividends, reinvested, provided the biggest part of return on equities historically ), Treasury/Osborne imposition of severely complex (excess) annual allowance/LTA regulations – small tick. DB schemes operation OOD mortality data – possible tick; ESG a big threat to DB schemes – massive tick. Declining scheme membership depriving schemes of a stream of contributions + papered over scheme underfunding double whammy – very big tick; Declining industries DB schemes closed as manufacturing reduces – massive tick. And this is just a small selection of the many variables; what most critics of so called “pension blackholes” etc don’t seem to wish to have pointed out is that these changes are instigated by politicians and Civil Servants who have the most generous DB schemes ( part from the Speaker and PM) all of which are funded by tax payers the vast majority of whom, especially the self employed, will suffer the consequences but never enjoy the same benefits. How’s that for equality?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 1:08 pm

Assuredly correct, but you cannot expect those lofty politicians to know anything about a grubby industry involving batteries. Far too technical for them to want to understand, a bit like that Carbon Dioxide matter!

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 5:51 am

The Bank of England, like the U.S. Federal Reserve, will fabricate currency on their computers, buy up debt issued by the government, and there will be plenty of money for any damn fool idea.

That this debases the value of everyone’s savings, earnings and investments is a problem … but not for the politicians.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 8:34 am

Central Banks printing press. Printing your savings into worthlessness.

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  rovingbroker
July 10, 2023 8:40 am

As long as the insurance industry can pass on costs, they won’t try to change anything. They may let consumers know what the expected costs are, but that’s about it.

Joseph Zorzin
July 10, 2023 4:02 am

Are EVs in a different insurance pool than ICE vehicles? I hope so if repairing EVs is so much more expensive.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 4:25 am

that site says:

Fleet Evolution says that insurance rates have increase by between 150% and 300% for electric cars in recent months, which is stopping drivers making the switch.

No doubt governments pushing the climate emergency will force insurers to put all vehicles in the same pool- one more scam to push along the switch.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 10, 2023 10:54 am

EVs battery technology appear to me to be an ideal situation for Insurers to invoke such tactics as “material fact disclosure” or any and all claims management practices to avoid certain EV/battery/fire related claims in future – I do not know if the Norwegian ferry Operator Havila Kystruten has banned them because of insurance claims concerns but it may just be so given the advice they sought: Blanket ban on EVs by Norwegian ferry line – Energy Storage Journal

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  186no
July 10, 2023 11:45 am

Didn’t an entire ship loaded with EVs sink a year or so ago? I wonder if the cause has been determined. That site says:

While electric vehicles do not pose a greater fire hazard than regular cars, their fires are more difficult to put out.They require a considerably larger amount of water to extinguish.

I thought you don’t use water to put out such fires.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 10, 2023 12:18 pm

I thought you don’t use water to put out such fires.

I keep hearing different things. Probably the most common is to use foam (which is a foaming agent mixed with the water).

I’ve read that it takes about 30,000 gallons to extinguish one of these fires. For comparison, a fully engulfed 2000sf house takes about 10,000.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tony_G
July 10, 2023 12:54 pm

When I bought a camera with lithium ion batteries my wife investigated the fire risk. She found web sites saying never put water on a lithium fire- it only makes it worse. I read about fire extinguishers for home use- and those sites said the same thing- don’t use a typical fire extinguisher to put out a lithium ion battery on fire. There is one kind of extinguisher made specifically for lithium ion batteries and they’re more expensive. My wife made me purchase special cases to hold the batteries made of asbestos and other fire resistant materials. These batteries are tiny but even they could burn down your house. I’ve read that when charging them it’s best to not go too far, just in case. So if these tiny batteries are a potential danger, I can only wonder about EV batteries. If I owned one I wouldn’t put it in my garage.

In high school, back in ’64, in a general science class, the teacher drop a pellet of lithium into a glass of water. A small explosion occured and a flame rose to the ceiling leaving a black burn mark. It wasn’t smart to do that and he was gone at the end of the year- since the son of the school principle was a classmate and he obviously ratted on the teacher. 🙂

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 10, 2023 4:05 pm

Definitely a regular extinguisher isn’t great, but depends on the class. A class C (or ABC) can help. A class A won’t, and depending on the type (i.e. water) can make is worse.

There’s a lot of discussion in firefighting magazines and among firefighters. We’ve found that water with foam somewhat works in insanely large quantities (note that a typical fire truck carries about 1500 gallons…) IF you also have a heavy stream – about 500gpm from a deck gun.

Rural departments like ours don’t really have that option, so control while it burns out is going to be the approach.

And none of us want to deal with them.

They’re even worse for extrication, but that’s another discussion.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 10, 2023 3:27 pm

Lots of water cools everything near the fire and keeps it from spreading while the battery burns itself out.
Or so my pet owl told me.

Reply to  John Hultquist
July 10, 2023 4:13 pm

John, I think that’s pretty much the idea. Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with one.

Reply to  John Hultquist
July 10, 2023 4:14 pm

Something to consider: I’m relaying what I’ve read in FF magazines and heard from other firefighters in various departments. Almost everywhere I turn I hear something different. That should tell you everything you really need to know.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 11, 2023 1:57 am

I seem to remember reading that EV battery fires involve much higher temperatures than, say, ICE vehicle fires, and ferries not equipped with specialist equipment ( or trained firefighters presumably ). I can only imagine that spraying water onto such fires might create superheated steam, perhaps in confined spaces, compounding an already serious issue.
How ironic would it be if these fires might be extinguished by compressed CO2 removing the oxygen from the immediate site of the fire.. surely not?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  186no
July 11, 2023 4:40 am

I do think I read something about that- that it’s CO2 in a foam, plus who knows what else- for this purpose and it is ironic.

July 10, 2023 4:09 am

having seen a clip of a handheld powertool Li battery explode..Id never get into an EV
they are twofer deal however
free cremation with the purchase of an EV

Bryan A
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 10, 2023 5:46 am

Fortunately, with most EV fires, the “Autocremation” feature can be bypassed as generally the “Bursting into Flames” feature follows about 30-60 seconds worth of the “Why is This Thing Smoking” alarm system. But should the Autocremation feature be triggered by a catastrophic Fender Bender the Autosmoke Alarm often fails to operate smoothly

Right-Handed Shark
July 10, 2023 4:10 am

It seems that a new reason to steer clear (pun intended) of EV’s emerges every week. At this rate, even politicians might start to take notice in less than a decade!

Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 4:12 am

Wildly off-topic (apart from the Financial Aspect )- but interesting as a story itself:
“”How central bankers got it spectacularly wrong on net zero inflation

They couldn’t possibly get anything else ‘spectacularly wrong
could they, please tell me ‘no’

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 4:32 am

Just read the article. Seems like they’re aware of the fiscal impact and others. But their attitude is “press on regardless”.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 10, 2023 6:03 am

“Green” energy isn’t cheaper today, and it’s getting more expensive as the cost of resource extraction and processing increases.

July 10, 2023 4:17 am

“The cost of HV batteries varies widely from high-end vehicles, currently costing £29,500, to the low-end costing £14,200.”

How many have ever had to change a petrol tank? And even if one had to what would it cost? Between £100 and £200, eg a new tank for a FIAT 500 costs £139.95.


Lately, a black Taxi cab has started charging up on a daily basis at the lamp post adjacent to my house. I know I can fill my tank ad infinitum and still have pretty much the same volume of fuel. I wonder how long this Taxi’s battery will last? But in the meantime, this guy is getting a good deal…

“Plug-in taxi grant

It is designed to bridge the cost gap that currently exists between taxis powered by internal combustion engines versus new ultra-low emission technologies.”

Which means…

“The PiTG scheme offers a discount on the price of eligible taxis of up to a maximum of £7,500 or £3,000, depending on the vehicle’s range, emissions and design. “

“More taxi drivers will be encouraged to buy environmentally friendly vehicles thanks to new legislation exempting them from the premium rate of vehicle excise duty, announced today (5 July 2019).”

With all these EV exemptions the costs are borne by ‘established transport means’. Soon that will change as Khan’s ULEZ and all the other madcap schemes come into force. The poor will have to ditch their cars. Where will they get the money – taxes, fees, fines etc etc, then?

Road pricing via ANPR cameras (ULEZ)

I would argue that by now most who can afford an EV probably have one.

John Hultquist
Reply to  strativarius
July 10, 2023 3:33 pm

Between £100 and £200, eg a new tank for a FIAT 500 costs £139.95.

I suggest you check on this. I’ll guess it is 10x that for parts, labor, and taxes.

July 10, 2023 4:38 am

If an EV is involved in an accident, I believe it must be immediately quarantined in case it spontaneously combusts. It must be a minimum of 15 metres from any other object.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 4:55 am

According to the article, the additional quarantine facilities for damaged electric cars will cost car insurers in Britain an extra 900 million pounds per year. These costs will have to be passed onto insurance bills for electric cars.

Scott W
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 5:14 am

They will share the pain across the entire insured customer base. I have seen many people complaining that their premiums have rocketed with no claims, and they are making out that its due to supply chain issues etc. I call BS on that.

Reply to  Scott W
July 10, 2023 8:25 am


Reply to  Bill Toland
July 10, 2023 10:57 am

How long will it be for, say, Mayor Khan to insist that no EV be parked X metres from any other object – can you imagine the carnage of an EV battery fire in a crowded London street? Or maybe, will he dodge that until a catastrophic fire happens ( dont wish that on anyone I must state ) ?

July 10, 2023 5:35 am

For now it looks like insurance companies are mostly absorbing the losses of covering EVs”

It’s more likely that they are spreading the cost across other policy holders, which they can get away with while BEVs are still a relatively small proportion of total insured vehicles.

July 10, 2023 5:36 am

Could these EVs be burned in power stations as a coal replacement?

Reply to  Walbrook
July 10, 2023 5:51 am

Er, they’re somewhat toxic…

Toxic fluoride gas emissions from lithium-ion battery fires

But it gets worse (doesn’t it always!)

The extinguishing water is poisonous
A problem, however, is the extinguishing and cooling water that is produced when fighting such a fire and storing a burnt-out battery in a water basin. The analyses showed that the chemical contamination of the extinguishing water exceeds the Swiss threshold values for industrial wastewater by a factor of 70; the cooling water is even up to 100-times above threshold values. It is important that this highly contaminated water does not enter the sewage system without proper treatment.”

“Fire services basically have two main options, let the fire burn out or extinguish it.
The obvious choice seems to be to extinguish the fire, however many EV manufacturers actually advise for a controlled burn. This is where the fire services allow the vehicle to burn out while they focus on protecting the surrounding area.
Letting a fire burn out is not an ideal solution as it can impact on surrounding environment, property and people. Also, it can mean closing a road for up to eight hours significantly disrupting communities and businesses, which may rule it out as an option.   
Putting out an EV fire demands large amounts of water, around 1,125 litres a minute. This is water that can become contaminated with soot and chemicals and run off into public drainage systems.”

Toxic smoke, contaminated water, or even both.

Gunga Din
Reply to  strativarius
July 10, 2023 7:13 am

But as long as there’s no CO2 …

Richard Page
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 10, 2023 10:14 am

Er, no. They also produce huge quantities of CO2 when burning as well.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Richard Page
July 10, 2023 11:37 am

Then yes, we should have no burnings. We should have no burning EVs today!
(That would make those who promote EVs to save the planet pretty hot!)

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
July 11, 2023 8:25 am

According to an outfit called Fire Containers major EV manufacturers state that batteries should not be submerged in water as this can initiate or accelerate thermal runaway as well as creating large amounts of contaminated water..

They have come up with the concept of a EV Containment Unit (EVCU) with a built in water supply that is recirculated for continual fire suppression,

“EVCU uses the principle of water turning to steam (expansion ratio) to suppress fire development around the vehicle or to continually cool the battery compartment to help prevent thermal runaway from developing”

I am not qualified to judge this or not.


Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 5:44 am

My first proper job in about 1971 was working in a long gone factory making electrolytic capacitors.
My job involved examining failures, which then required taking measurements and normally deconstruction to look for internal defects.
For all items, but especially HV, the first thing was to discharge using a piece of aluminium kept for the purpose. I don’t know what the mechanism was but big electrolytics seem to build up charge over a relatively short time. If you neglected to discharge then the jolt woke you up. A ramble to ask my question
My question is, do Li-Ion batteries remain discharged, or can they recover and give the unwary a wakeup call?

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 5:57 am

The battery in my phone would suggest “no”..

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 8:19 am

My Ford Escape hybrid uses NiMH cells in the traction battery. Nominal is 390V. Special orange wire cables, and a beefy safe shut off for mechanics working on anything except the battery. We once had to replace the small cooling fan for the battery, so the shutoff was very handy.

Curious George
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 10, 2023 3:13 pm

Once I got a 400V DC jolt – fortunately it went only trough my hand. As I was withdrawing it, there was an arc 1 cm long before it disconnected.

July 10, 2023 6:35 am

Also this:

ICE vehicle
— engine block (steel and/or aluminum), easily recycled at low cost
— gas tank (steel or aluminum), easily recycled at low cost

battery EV
— two or four electric motors, suitable for “used” parts but not easily recycled
— battery pack, at EOL cannot be reused or refurbished nor is it cost-effectively recycled due to complexity and chemical content

July 10, 2023 6:52 am

EVs needing core socialist values-
Tesla pledges to promote ‘core socialist values’, end price war | CarExpert

Tesla and BYD at the top of the game know how to make/source the best EV batteries that can last many miles but they’re still mechanical machines with their quirks and limitations-
Inside an Electric Car Repair Shop – YouTube

More Soylent Green!
Reply to  observa
July 10, 2023 8:06 am

If Tesla is truly promoting “core socialist values” shouldn’t they price cars based on the buyer’s ability to pay?

Beta Blocker
July 10, 2023 6:53 am

The danger of battery fires is just one of several elephants in the EV room.

Tantor burns up on I-90

Gunga Din
July 10, 2023 7:10 am

I wonder what kind of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is or will be required for a mechanic trying to repair an EV battery?

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 10, 2023 7:39 am

If you were a motor mechanic would you want to repair an EV? Wouldn’t the qualifications required for the maintenance of EVs be different to those required for an ICE vehicle?

Reply to  JohnC
July 10, 2023 1:22 pm

So who is organising sufficient trainees?

Reply to  mikelowe2013
July 10, 2023 4:11 pm

The $64000 (or 75% of a Tesla) question.

JP Kalishek
July 10, 2023 7:15 am

From what I’ve seen from the “Put the damned fire out” side of things, repair is pretty much Recycle. Giving one a rap and fixing the damaged cells looks like it misses a lot of minor damage, damage that doesn’t show until far later, and shows up often enough as a fire. I think all hand held extinguishers for lithium are really just “See. we actually did try to put it out” excuses.

July 10, 2023 7:27 am

“Repair” is never going to happen—no one can determine which cell or cells deep inside a huge block of cells might go into thermal runaway.

July 10, 2023 7:35 am

I am more interested what will happen to heavy equipment/farm machinery if forced to go EV. What replaces a D-9 Cat? A combine? Graders? Snow plows? How big, how much charge life, etc.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  mkelly
July 11, 2023 12:09 pm

How big a fire when the battery goes ballistic…

July 10, 2023 7:49 am

For now it looks like insurance companies are mostly absorbing the losses of covering EVs, but I doubt this situation is sustainable.”

Insurance companies are facilitators – they pass losses on to the rest of their insured “book” and/or reinsurers. Agree with BT, the rest of “us” with ICE cars will foot this bill in part, unless Insurers segregate EV risks from the rest – which I do not think they will as it will lay bare another cost people may not fully factor in yet….

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 10, 2023 8:08 am

i predict a great future for the trade in horses. Put your money in a stud farm is what I advise.

As a bonus I foresee a massive pollution problem with horse dung piling up in the cities, thus educating the deluded activists what a real eco disaster looks like.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
July 10, 2023 11:00 am

You mean highly regenerative CO2 sequestering organic material surely? Great for hanging baskets- oh no wait they need water – not so good for root veg in the first couple of years..

July 10, 2023 8:19 am

So “data-driven modelling” strikes again.

Mr Ed
July 10, 2023 8:22 am

Back in ’08 during the big recession and high fuel costs the Prius was in
high demand. I was told by one guy that they were able to pay for their
Prius in fuel savings from their Chevy Blazer that they parked in 2yrs. Then after fuel
prices dropped they got a regular SUV again and the Prius was parked. I know
that a service tech that could do the hybrids at that time could demand $100K/yr starting pay. I was also told that there was not much of a market for a used Prius with over 100k miles on it. I don’t see many on the road these days for a good reason. I know a lady that
had a Prius beck then and was in 3 different minor accidents but never had any kind of problems with the battery or any fires. I think the jump from a hybrid to a 100% electric
is too big to work.

Allan Rhodes
July 10, 2023 8:59 am

Absolutely brilliant and oh so true ! Got to get the message out there about EVs. Just underlies the fact that EVs are a waste of time and it has all been a waste of time promoting these vehicles. I have written to Porsche that going electric is going to be a big, big mistake. I have not received any reply. Every manufacturer that goes full electric is going to be sorry. Only Maserati as far as I know has refused to bow to this absurdity and will continue to build those “infernal combustion engines”
Keep the good work up WUWT.

July 10, 2023 9:12 am

Come on, man! You can’t “repair” a Li-ion battery, once it is screwed it is screwed for all eternity. You can break it down to its component parts, if you manage not to have it ignite in your face.

July 10, 2023 9:34 am

Battery vehicle fires, either through an accident, or spontaneous self combustion, will occur in greater frequency as more hit the roads
These fires are highly explosive in nature, burn with hell like ferocity and are very difficult to extinguish
When they do combust, the collateral damage to surrounding vehicles and structures will be of the most severe magnitude
People, including Fire Services, have little to no experience of combatting a raging battery fire, which further increases hazard and risk
Insurers are by default, risk averse
As with smart motorways, unacceptable accidents & deaths were their nemesis, the same epitaph awaits the battery car

Reply to  Energywise
July 10, 2023 4:17 pm

Actually that’s a good point about collateral damage, now if there’s a fuel spillage after a road traffic collision the road is closed whilst it’s cleaned up. If there’s damage to the road surface because of an ICE car fire the road is closed for resurfacing.
However, if there’s an EV fire it won’t be just the surface that will burn but significantly deeper. Also when the road surface burns what toxic chemicals will be released? Plus the carbon dioxide.

Ben Vorlich
July 10, 2023 10:18 am

How are BEVs NCAP/Crash tested? I’ve found references to Full frontal collision, various overlap collisions, roof integrity tests. But it’s unclear if the battery is fully charged or completely discharged.
I don’t think that vehicle to vehicle tests are normally carrid out. It might be interesting to see a BEV to BEV crash with fully charged batteries. Also followed by a full investigation of the battery.

Perhaps BEV batteries need an NCAP rating

July 10, 2023 10:19 am

I have a horrible feeling that ICE drivers will be picking up the tab through increased insurance, servicing and repair costs.
After all, it wouldn’t be fair if the poor old EV drivers had to stump up for it!

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
July 10, 2023 10:59 am

Isn’t it about time that we admit that wind, solar and battery vehicles are all a fool’s errand? It’s not complicated.

July 10, 2023 11:39 am

Since we have skewing off topic anyway/ I will add my 2 $ ( inflation). I have been wondering for awhile now what the heck is even holding our economies together at all. Seems like things should have already crashed horribly . When your just living off more credit cards … we’ll you know I can’t imagine any kind of “ soft landing”

Reply to  John Oliver
July 10, 2023 12:03 pm

the graft and unintended consequences, government debt, use of other peoples money without their permission, lack of economic analysis . I am especially pissed because I went to a site not long ago that showed how many of my local fellow businesses owners took Government Covid employee retention funds, and they are still giving it away and promoting it! Ads all over media, still. They gotta run out of other peoples money ( and credit) before long with all these schemes.

July 10, 2023 1:14 pm

Another EV subsidy! Everyone else pays for the high EV repair costs.

While it wasn’t explicitly stated, and is probably put down to something else if it were possible to get a statement from the industry, my insurance this year went up about $500 — just to be able to register the car so it isn’t stolen by the state for appearing on the road. Which is to say, the policy is liability only, no collision, theft, etc coverage. I never had an insurance claim and have had not traffic tickets for more than 40 years.

July 11, 2023 1:49 am

Thatcham Research’s data-driven modelling shows that…………………………..

Modelling? Do we trust modelling? Is it a case of some modelling good, some modelling bad?

John XB
July 11, 2023 5:26 am

This is estimated to reach up to 260,000 vehicles annually by 2035.”

260 000 – somewhere over the rainbow.

July 11, 2023 3:20 pm

The solution couldn’t be more simple, remove all subsidies, tax incentives, make owners pay full price for recharging, add taxes to the charging fee and require high insurance premiums because they are so dangerous on the road or parked.

Douglas Proctor
July 12, 2023 8:25 pm

Back in tge day, propane powered cars were a thing. Then they weren’t allowed to park in closed parkades. Fire/explosion risk. Where are the propane civilian cars now?

How many lithium battery fires will it take to prevent EVs from being parked in downtown parkades? Or in your garage attached to your house? I wouldn’t want it there.

Rearend collisions in EVs? I just saw an F350 hit a Kia. The Kia was crushed to the backseat. Writeoff. But fas tank secure! The truck had a broken plastic grill and bent hood. Nobody injured. If the Kia had been Ev, I’ll bet two dead in a big fire.

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