The electric vehicle (EVs) market is growing quickly, with over 365,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of November 2021, and more than 705,000 plug-in models including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)*.
Whilst the impact on the environment can only be positive, what are the implications for retailers in terms of risk to their businesses?
A number of insurers have raised concerns over the charging of vehicles within dealerships outside business hours. This is due to the potential fire risk and the emission of gases during the charging process. To reduce risk, we recommend you consider the nature of controls required as described in the RISCAuthority RC59 document RC59 Fire safety when charging electric vehicles. This suggests, for example, establishing dedicated fire protected areas, such as separate charging buildings.
Specific legislation surrounds the storing batteries, and includes measures such as sustainability and safety, labelling, and end of life management.
The guiding principle of the UK legislation is that all waste batteries must be processed by an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO) or an Approved Battery Exporter (ABE). Specifically, producers of automotive batteries must collect waste automotive batteries free of charge from their final holders, such as garages and scrapyards. More information can be found here.
Our Risk Management experts can help guide on in ensuring your business is meeting the requirements and offer advice on best practice.
EVs require regular service checks, just as conventional cars, to help maintain optimal battery performance and the EV’s longevity. There are risks associated with servicing and repairing EVs since they contain and store energy which could cause serious harm if not managed correctly.
It is vital that a thorough Risk Assessment is carried out to ensure there is a process in place to identify the safety status of all EVs, the appropriate PPE has been checked and inspected before work begins, and the correct training has been undertaken for the technicians assigned to work on the vehicles.
In addition, post-repair processes will need to be reviewed to ensure the correct charging of the vehicle battery before the car is returned to the customer, and the safe disposal of any hazardous components.
Since the risks surrounding EVs are relatively new, and insurers are somewhat cautious, our expert Risk Managers can assist you with reducing the risk, and therefore, provide your insurer with the reassurance in allowing you to continue supplying EVs in a safe and protected manner.
PIB’s Motor Trade Practice Group can support retailers on key measures to help mitigate the risk, whilst supporting businesses maximise opportunities for profitability. Comprising PIB Insurance Brokers, PIB Risk Management and Cooper Solutions, together they work together to deliver tailored insurance solutions to the automotive industry.
For more information about the specific legislation about battery manufacture and waste in the UK, please visit: