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Meet the electric vehicle innovators transforming global fleets

Tesla is the poster boy for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, but dozens of new manufacturers are attempting to enter the billion-dollar EV market. The recent Paris Motor Show 2022 showcased a massive range of new EVs, including the Renault 5 electric that hit the headlines worldwide. Alongside the world's largest car makers are exciting new entrants battling for a slice of the market.

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The automotive market is more exciting than ever, with buyers having to select from established players and disruptive new entrants. Buyers are in the driving seat, but behind the scenes, increasing competition and growing vehicle complexity pose significant challenges to private customers, fleet managers, insurers, and repairers.

EV revolution

EV sales in Europe hit 17% in 2021. A total of 1.7m EVs were registered, with adoption accelerated by government incentives and growing environmental awareness among drivers and fleet operators.

The market is growing at an incredible CAGR of 25%, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large corporates, are increasingly interested in electric fleet options. Companies like Athlon, LeasePlan, and Fleetpool are already offering EV fleet options, giving customers a genuine alternative to fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

In Europe, the top 10 companies operating in the EV market are familiar to us all. VW, Fiat, Peugeot, Audi, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes are, alongside Tesla, cornering the market. According to industry figures, the top five selling EVs in Europe in 2022 are:

  1. Tesla’s Model Y
  2. Tesla Model 3
  3. Fiat 500 electric
  4. Volkswagen's ID.4
  5. Peugeot e-208

EVs are a mixture of advanced engineering and technology, including batteries, software, sensors, and systems. The core skills demanded by the industry are changing, encouraging the entrance of innovators keen to access the market.

So, let's meet some disruptive new entrants in Europe, the US, and China.

Europe ­– Europe is a hotbed for new EV development in passenger and commercial automotive. Some of those who have secured multimillion-dollar investment funding include Aehera, Alcraft, Lightyear, Polestar, and motorsport manufacturer Lotus Cars.

There are far too many European EV manufacturers to list, but they are becoming part of an established innovation ecosystem that is making incredible advancements. Croatia’s Rimac Group, for example, has built the world’s fastest EV, the Nevara, which has clocked speeds of 258mph on the track. It's why some industry insiders suggest Europe will lead the EV revolution.

US – America is more than the home of Tesla; President Biden is investing billions in establishing US manufacturers at the forefront of technology. EV sales in the States have tripled in the last three years, led by Tesla, Ford, GM, and Chevrolet.

Silicon Valley is home to several well-funded start-ups, including luxury builder Lucid. Apple has also recently announced a long-expected move into EVs, which could change the face of the market across the world.

China – The Chinese EV market is worth an estimated $130bn and is dominated by Build Your Dream (BYD), Great Wall Motors (GWM), Chery, and GAC. Tesla, too, has carved out a significant market presence. In addition, three of China's leading EV manufacturers, Li, Nio, and XPeng, are all advertised on the US stock exchange and are building a global profile.

Industry challenges

EVs are complex pieces of engineering. Vehicle bodies are built from advanced materials. Lithium-ion batteries and powerful electric motors have replaced combustion engines. The vehicle is linked by a network of cables and sensors controlled by powerful software. It's evident that many of the skills required to repair ICE vehicles can't be applied to EVs, posing serious challenges to fleet owners, insurers, and repairers.

Vehicle complexity negatively impacts the total cost of ownership (TCO). Simply put, the more complex a vehicle is the more it costs to manage, maintain, and repair than a comparable ICE vehicle. Figures show that EV repairs are much higher than ICE vehicles, sometimes up to 100% more. The reality is that no single repair shop can effectively manage all repairs for all vehicle types. In addition, every new entrant to the market increases complexity, so insurers and operators need to find a new solution.

Some of the critical questions facing fleet managers, insurers, and repairers are:

  • How do insurers and leasing companies ensure the completion of safe and qualified repairs on a growing range of vehicles?
  • How do insurers and leasing companies ensure that the cost of repairing these vehicles doesn’t price them out of the market?
  • How can repair shops have the confidence to invest in the proper training and equipment without any influence on the vehicles that insurers send them?

The solution is Openclaims Repair Distribution Suite. The intelligent system can help insurers and operators to optimize EV repairs. Users can create rules to allocate repairs to the most suitable repair shop. As well as operational improvements, users can build healthier, more sustainable, and more profitable relationships with repair partners.

The Repair Distribution Suite adds value through the supply chain. It enables insurers to optimize costs, repair quality, and streamline processes. It also delivers healthy margins to the repair network, allowing them to invest in the training and equipment required to specialize.

Would you like to learn more about Openclaims’ Repair Distribution Suite? Request a demo!