Why EV Repairs Cost 30% More Than ICE Cars


Repairing an electric vehicle (EV) costs an average of 30% more than repairing an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, according to insurance data. The average repair claim severity for all EVs, including Tesla models, was $6,066 in Q1 2024, compared to $4,703 for ICE vehicles. EVs have higher repair costs despite not being declared total losses by insurance companies as often as ICE vehicles.

Why does it matter?

The disparity in repair costs between EVs and ICE vehicles is primarily due to the higher number of mechanical labor hours required for EV repairs. On average, EV repair estimates include 3.04 hours of mechanical labor, almost double the 1.66 hours for ICE vehicles. This increase in labor hours, combined with a higher rate of needing new OEM parts and lower repairability of EV parts, contributes to the overall higher repair costs for EVs.

The rise in repairable claims for EVs in Q1 2024 is notable, with a 40% increase compared to the previous year. This increase aligns with the growing number of EVs on the road. Additionally, the management of high-voltage batteries in EVs often necessitates de-energizing and removing the battery before repairs can be made, adding to labor costs.

The top EV models with the most repairable claims include the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model S, and Tesla Model X. The prevalence of new OEM parts in EV repairs, as opposed to recycled or repaired parts, also contributes to the higher repair costs for EVs.

How is it going to shape the future?

As the adoption of EVs continues to increase, understanding the implications of higher repair costs compared to ICE vehicles is crucial for insurers, repair shops, and EV owners. Finding ways to reduce repair costs, such as improving repairability of EV parts and optimizing labor processes, will be essential in making EV ownership more cost-effective in the long run. Manufacturers and insurers may need to collaborate to develop solutions that address the unique challenges of EV repairs, ensuring that maintenance and repair costs remain manageable for EV drivers.

In conclusion, the data highlights the significant cost disparity in repairing EVs compared to ICE vehicles, shedding light on the factors driving these higher costs and the implications for the future of EV ownership and maintenance.