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A couple of months ago I took part in a BBC Radio 5 Live debate about the huge jump in the cost of car insurance.
Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) was on with me and he spent some time explaining that the cost of mending cars had risen so much that insurers had to put prices up. I said I didn’t think they could have risen that much…but then I’m not a mechanic and (thankfully) I don’t have a car myself so I haven’t had personal experience of it.
One thing that was not discussed – and I kick myself for not thinking of it at the time – was the fact that many more people had bought EVs – electric vehicles – over the past year or so. Not only are EVs expensive to mend (yes they are – whatever the Greenies try to tell us) they also regularly go spectacularly wrong…like blowing-up-for-no-reason-type of ‘spectacularly wrong’!
If you have a strong stomach, listen to some of this talk by Professor Paul Christensen, about electric vehicle battery fires:It’ll make your hair curl! There are various clips of nightmare fires and explosions created even by small EV scooters. No wonder London Underground has now banned EV scooters in its trains and even on the platforms. They are a lethal! Not only can these batteries shoot out rocket-style fireballs, they also produce clouds of absolutely toxic gases.
Professor Christensen also includes videos and descriptions of EV cars blowing up in car parks and destroying cars around them. Can you imagine the insurance cost of that? Not only do you need your car replacing but you will have to pay for all the cars around it and, probably, damage to the car park itself.
According to research by Confused.com analysing over six million quotes, the average car insurance quote is currently £995, compared to £776 just six months ago. Not only that but in the summer of 2022 it was just £556. That’s a whopping 80% increase in the last 18 months alone.
Obviously inflation has a lot to do with this – the price of materials and labour have gone up in the UK and across the globe, but not by 80% in 18 months. This extraordinary rise has to be connected to the cost of repairing and replacing EV vehicles.
It seems that I’m not the only one to question seriously the cost and safety of EV cars. Last month electric cars saw their market share drop by a quarter in the UK with customers citing the high prices, poor charging infrastructure and horrendous insurance costs as the main reasons why they’re going back to petrol and diesel.
Sales of EVs represented just 14.7% of new car sales in January, down from 19.7% in December, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Admittedly, car sales were down generally in January dropping by 15.8% compared to a year earlier, but EV market share was down even further.
We keep being told in the media that EV cars are the future and that ‘all the cool kids are getting one’ but anecdotal evidence and, now, the data are showing otherwise.
Apparently there are calls for Jeremy Hunt to take VAT off sales of EVs in the March Budget to make them more popular. Personally I don’t think that will do much as it’s the ongoing cost of running the cars and the insecurity of charging them that are the main annoying factors for drivers.
Increasingly it’s also the safety – or lack of it – that is bothering car owners. As Professor Christensen says in the video above, there is no known lithium battery fire extinguisher. If your battery blows up there is nothing you can do but run away aw fast as possible and wait for it to burn itself out, hoping it won’t do too much damage to its surroundings.