Auto body repairs to late-model electric vehicles after minor collisions cost about 3% more than for gasoline cars, even though less time is required for the work.
Customers are also less likely to be satisfied with electric vehicle repairs, while replacement parts are more expensive and will more likely have to be purchased from the original equipment manufacturer. On the other hand, electric cars are more likely to be able to drive away after a collision.
Those were among the findings in CCC Intelligent Solutions’ first-ever side-by-side analysis of repair costs for electric vehicles compared to repair costs for the gasoline-powered version of the same model. CCC industry analyst Susanna Gotsch examined one year of data from direct repair program appraisals for repairs to non-luxury small cars, each one to three years old, submitted for crashes that the vehicle was able to drive away from.
Gostch said her sample size for the comparison was limited because Tesla manufactured 80% of the cars that produced an appraisal report and does not make gasoline vehicles. She compared reports for electric vehicles that had a gasoline-powered counterpart, such as the Chevrolet Bolt v. Sonic and Nissan Leaf v. Sentra.
Only “driveable repairs” were used because non-drivable accidents made up only 25 to 30% of all appraisal reports, leaving too small a sample size, she said.
The data revealed:
The non-driveable share of accidents was 21.9% for gasoline cars versus 18.0% for electric vehicles.
The average cost of repairs was almost 3% higher for electric vehicles.
Supplemental reports, which are submitted when a repairer finds additional damage after the original estimate, made up 14% of electrical vehicle cost versus 11% for gasoline cars.
Only 11% of the parts used in repairs of electric vehicles were aftermarket products, compared to 38% for gasoline cars.
Replacement parts made up 40.2% of repair costs for electric vehicles, compared to 37.5% for gasoline cars.
Repairs to electric vehicles required an average of 22 labor hours, compared 25.6 for gasoline cars, but labor was less productive because electric cars more often had to be returned to the shop.
The net-promotor score (a measurement of customer satisfaction) was 86 for electric vehicle compared to 90 for gasoline car repairs.
“In many ways EV’s are the poster child for growing vehicle complexity, with vehicle repairs requiring more time spent by technicians performing scans and calibrations and researching repair methods,” the report says.