Scratched EV battery? Insurer may junk the car

STORY: Scratched the battery on your new electric vehicle, even slightly? Then your car may be a write-off.

That's because in many EVs there is no way to fix or assess even lightly damaged battery packs.

The problem has forced insurance companies to write off cars with few miles on the clock, leading to higher premiums.

It also undercuts the green case for EVs, if they have to be junked after any incident.

Battery packs can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and make up half of an EV's price tag.

Both Ford and General Motors say they have made battery packs easier to repair.

But market leader Tesla has taken the opposite approach with its Model Y.

Experts warned its new structural battery pack has - quote - 'zero repairability'.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

A Reuters search of EV salvage sales in the U.S. and Europe showed a large portion of low-mileage Teslas.

Major brands like Nissan and Hyundai were also present.

EVs make up small fraction of vehicles on the road and that makes industry-wide data hard to come by.

But the trend of low-mileage zero-emission cars being written off with minor damage is growing.

Insurers and experts say that Tesla and other carmakers need to make changes.

They want to see more repairable battery packs and third-party access to battery cell data.

Otherwise, they warn, insurance premiums will just keep on going up as EV sales continue to grow.