New York, USA (CNN) – Hyundai said it will recall 82,000 electric cars worldwide to replace its batteries, after it received 15 reports of fires involving vehicles.
Despite the relatively small number of cars involved, this recall is among the most expensive in history, indicating that the defects of electric cars may lead to exorbitant costs for car manufacturers.
The recall process will cost Hyundai a trillion won, or $ 900 million, as the average cost per vehicle will be around $ 11,000, which is a large sum for a recall.
Replacing the entire battery would be more costly, requiring a similar amount of work and expense compared to replacing a complete engine for a conventional vehicle.
Full engine replacements are rarely announced on petrol cars, but Porsche announced a similar recall in 2014 for 785 911 GT3 sports cars. Porsche did not announce the cost of this recall at the time, but it was certainly more expensive on a per-vehicle basis than the recall “Hyundai”.
The average cost of recalling a car over the past 10 years has been around $ 500 per vehicle, says Mike Held, a director in the automotive and industrial practices division at the global consulting firm AlixPartners.
The cost of recalling “Hyundai” cars indicates the high cost of electric car batteries, as the cost of manufacturing electric cars will remain higher than the cost of similar gasoline cars, until the cost of batteries decreases, by increasing production around the world.
Once the batteries become less expensive, as is expected to happen in the coming years, the manufacturing of electric vehicles could become much cheaper because they have fewer moving parts and require 30% less labor hours for assembly compared to conventional vehicles.