The report from Trend Tracker; ‘Electric Vehicles (EV), What Happens When Things Go Wrong,’ puts forward the conclusions of a cross-industry group assembled by NBRA Chief Executive Chris Weeks and Kirsty McKno, Managing Director of Cogent Hire.
Chris commented: “EV/AFV are not necessarily any more unsafe than ICE, but whereas the industry has had more than 100 years to develop experience and understanding of ICE, EV/AFV are relatively new. It should really be against the law to work on these vehicles without the required accreditation, methods, and skills. An EV is fine when you are driving it, but when it crashes it is dangerous goods.”
Kirsty pointed out several organisations are looking into common standards for EV, including the ABI and Thatcham, but at present there is no united approach: “EVs may ignite up to four weeks post-accident, which means that having a consistent standard is vital to industry and consumer safety.”
Electrified vehicles are the fastest growing segment within the vehicle parc. In April 26.4% of cars produced in the UK were electrified, boosted by battery electric vehicle (BEV) output up 38.2%. Despite this, the group noted with concern how easy it was to set up a recovery business with no qualifications, and that the industry needs better regulation.
Other concerns highlighted included the provision of short-charges to broken down EVs provided from recovery vans fitted with large batteries, as well as the conversion of existing ICE vehicles into EVs. There is little-to-no legislation to cover either area.
Kirsty added: “Clearly the industry needs to invest in approvals, tooling, additional space requirements and technical skills. That means alternative fuelled vehicles will cost more to repair, but consumers will not want to pay more for insurance, particularly not in this cost of living crisis.”