By 2030 all cars will be electric, but is insurance ready?
Published: 3 August 2023
As the UK makes world leading strides in the race to net zero, insurers are at risk of being left behind. Tom Helm, formerly Chief EV Officer at Abacai and Head of EV Strategy at LV =, reveals the EV unique risks impacting insurance and the front runners driving the EV revolution.
Who are the trailblazers driving the global EV revolution? What qualities set them apart as frontrunners?
The obvious one is Tesla. In only 20 years Tesla have revolutionised a 100-year-old industry. The Tesla Model Y is now the best-selling car (not EV but car overall) in some countries. It’s not just the fact they are building EV’s but their entire approach to car production from in housing as much as possible, to direct sales and having their own charging network their desire to own every part of the value chain means they have unparalleled control over the product and customer experience. When we look at China though, we shouldn’t forget Build Your Dreams (hereafter BYD) who are on course to be the largest EV manufacturer in the world. Whilst they might be a new name in the UK and Europe, BYD have been going for quite a while producing high quality EV’s at a low price point. Their new Sodium-ion battery looks like a gamechanger when it comes to affordable EV’s with a sub £10,000 EV possible with it.
“In only 20 years Tesla have revolutionised a 100-year-old industry.”
How can insurers keep pace with innovation in mobility? Do they have a role to play in shaping the future of transportation?
“(…) insurers can be a real engine for change.”
Insurers are vital in shaping the future of mobility they can be champions for the latest in mobility through innovative products and keen pricing or blockers through restrictive underwriting criteria and price loading. We’ve seen in the commercial space where insurers can be a real engine for change through reducing or removing capacity for coal fired power plants whilst bringing new products to market for solar farms, insurers can do the same in the mobility space by bring products to market that support people in the switch to electrification.
Are insurers ready for the unique risks associated with electric vehicles? What should they do to prepare?
Some insurers are further ahead than others. When it comes to EV’s it’s still a box with 4 wheels with people inside so the biggest cost for any insurer will be bodily injury however when it comes to understand the risk and ensuring cost effective repair insurers need to be preprepared. Instant torque in an EV means supercar acceleration in business saloons and family SUV’s which leads to a slightly different risk profile. When it comes to the repair does the insurer have a repairer with the capability to repair an EV? Have they got the right skills and qualifications, do they have the right tools, are they able to discharge and charge a car? These are all the considerations insurers need to think about to be ready for insuring EV’s.
Will electric vehicles become a permanent part of the automotive landscape? What could the fuel of the future look like?
When it comes to car’s EV’s will be the mainstream solution. On a total cost of ownership basis, they are already cheaper than their internal combustion engine competitors and the cost of EV’s are dropping all the time. Elements that had limited their appeal such as range are improving all the time with most new EV’s easily able to do more than 200 miles and with the top end EV’s not touching 400 miles of range. Charging times are getting faster too with the latest cars and ultra rapid chargers able to charge a car in less than 15 minutes. We might also see Hydrogen where the weight is a consideration so transport like heavy commercial, marine and aviation.
“(…) ultra rapid chargers are able to charge a car in less than 15 minutes.”