No, repairing an electric car does not necessarily cost more than a thermal car

A recent study reveals the cost of repairing electric cars (Tesla, Renault and Peugeot in particular) compared to gasoline and diesel cars. Does an electric Peugeot e-208 cost more to repair in the event of an accident than its thermal version? Here are the first answers.

The electric car raises many questions. Whether it’s the pollution of its batteries, the recycling of the latter, autonomy or fast charging. But another question often comes up: does an electric car cost more to repair than a petrol or diesel car?

Comparison by numbers

The SRA Association (Security and Automotive Repair) has compiled various repair figures, taken from the appraisals of collision claims in traffic and in the parking lot of various cars. The objective: to compare the repair costs between electric cars and their thermal counterparts.

Not a simple exercise, especially with the statistical biases that may exist in studies. In an attempt to do things right, SRA took into account models less than 6 years old with at least 100 expert reports. What allows you to have a first idea, but certainly not to draw conclusions. This is what we can read in the press release: the study does not allow us to ” reveal a general trend, the results being close and variable, and potentially impacted by variations in volume, use“.

The cars compared in the study

In the study, the Renault Clio was compared to the Renault Zoé while the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 were compared with the thermal versions, 208 and 2008. There is also the Nissan Leaf, analyzed against the Nissan Pulsar, as well as the Kia e-Niro against the classic Niro.

At BMW, the exercise is a little more delicate since the BMW i3 is compared to the Series 1 and Series 2 Active Tourer. Not really similar cars. And at Tesla, the Model 3 is compared to the BMW 3 Series and Volvo V60. Again, totally different vehicles. But, it helps to get a general idea.

Study results

Without further ado, here are the results of the study. The base 100 is the average of each segment, to be able to compare the cost of repairs and the cost of spare parts.

Car Cost of repairs Parts cost
Renault Clio IV 110 116
Clio V 117 128
Renault Zoe 108 113
Peugeot 208 112 112
Peugeot e-208 117 128
Peugeot 2008 100 112
Peugeot e-2008 111 122
Nissan Pulsar 93 90
Nissan Leaf 120 138
Kia Niro 112 123
Kia e Niro 106 112
BMW 1 Series 111 109
BMW 2 Series 116 117
BMW i3 105 111
BMW 3 Series 121 128
Volvo V60 93 91
Tesla Model 3 103 64

As we can see, the situations are totally different from one brand to another and from one model to another. At Renault, the Zoé costs less to repair than the Clio. At Peugeot, it’s the opposite: electric compacts cost a bit more to repair. At Nissan, the Leaf is quite expensive to repair. At Kia, the electric Niro requires less money to be repaired than the thermal version.

But the highlight of the show is at Tesla : yes, the cost of repair is slightly higher than the segment average, but the cost of parts is ridiculously affordable compared to the competition.

However, let us recall once again that this study should be taken with a grain of salt, because of the number of vehicles studied. We will have to wait for a more complete analysis to draw definitive conclusions. But no doubt, the results will vary from model to model.

In any case, this study allows to debunk the received idea that repairing an electric car would be more expensive than repairing a petrol or diesel car. And we like that, debunking received ideas. The latest: the lifespan of electric car batteries which would be too low.

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