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Do Hybrids Pose Dangers For Dealers?

Dealers handling hybrid or electric vehicles either on their forecourts or workshops have been advised that they should not face higher insurance premiums – but have been issued with a health and safety warning about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries catching fire.

The Independent Garage Association says it has heard that some members are being charged higher premiums but a survey of major insurers showed there are no specific policies or exclusions regarding hybrids/EVs. However, they also say that if there is an incident the garage can expect the insurer to ask if the person involved was adequately trained to handle the car’s power unit.

It is also circulating a report from a Swedish H&S research organisation about the dangers of the lithium-ion (Lion) batteries used in these vehicles combusting and then being impossible to put out. There have been some high profile cases of EVs igniting, often after a crash, and then continuing to burn.

Potential Risks Increase

An IGA spokesman said:

“As the number of EVs, PHEV’s and hybrid vehicles on our roads increase, so do the potential risks associated with the lithium-ion batteries that power them.

“There are many different types of lithium-ion batteries, all with different chemistries, packaging and the way they are integrated into vehicles, but one commonality with these batteries is that they must be kept within a specific voltage and temperature range. These limits can be exceeded if the battery or its casing become damaged due to an accident or even a fault with the vehicle.

“As more lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles are in use on the roads there will be a greater risk of them becoming involved in accidents, which poses threats to everyone involved including responders and those associated with repairing the car. Therefore, it is vital to understand how these batteries work and how to identify, manage and prevent fire hazards.”

To download the full report click here

If you are an IGA member and have any insurance concerns regarding working on or handling hybrids or EVs call the direct member helpline on 0845 305 4230.

For more information about what Click Dealer can do for your business, contact us on 01782 478220 or via marketing@clickdealer.co.uk. Alternatively, you can get in touch through our contact page.


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