North American EV Claims Frequency On The Rise

North American collision information company Mitchell has published EV Collision Insights Q4 2022, which show electric vehicle (EV) repairable claims frequency rose to 1.1 per cent in the US and 2.26 per cent in Canada for the quarter. The figures for both countries are more than double those recorded in Q4 2020.

The average percentage of parts repaired on EVs also increased from 11.05 per cent in Q3 2022 to 12.16 per cent in Q4 2022. According to Ryan Mandell, Director of Claims Performance Auto Physical Damage at Mitchell, this suggests that repairers may be improving their capability to repair lighter weight substrates, but he adds that the motivation for a portion of this increase may be due to ongoing supply chain disruptions rather than a desire to repair rather than replace.

EV part repair frequency also continues to lag behind vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE), ending the quarter at 19.18 per cent (an increase from 18.83 per cent the previous quarter). The average number of mechanical labour hours on EV estimates still outpaces ICE vehicles with 1.7 additional mechanical labour hours present on EV collision damage appraisals compared to estimates for ICE-powered automobiles.

The management of high-voltage battery systems and the extra time spent de-energising EVs, coupled with resolving disruptions in the vehicles’ complex network of interconnected systems, accounted for most of this additional labour.

“As EV market growth continues and more EVs enter auto body shops, both carriers and collision repairers must ensure they are prepared,” said Mandell. “For the repair industry, additional training, tooling, and equipment will be necessary considerations to meet the needs of these complex and interconnected vehicles.

“Automotive insurers, on the other hand, should be ready to examine underwriting practices so that they can meet the demands of a growing segment of the car parc with higher average repair costs and more complex repair procedures that must be performed to successfully deliver a proper and safe repair.”

Tesla continues to dominate EV market share in both countries with 76.78 per cent in the US and 70.21 per cent in Canada. The Ford Mustang Mach-E moved to fourth position in US EV frequency, displacing the Tesla Model X.

Q4 2022 marked the first appearance of the Hummer EV in a US collision repair facility (none reported in Canada so far) as well as the Ford F-150 Lightning EV in a Canadian repair facility following its Q3 2022 debut in US body shops.