For as much as we sing the praises for electric vehicles, there are downsides. Like this lucky Mustang Mach-E owner that needed a tow. Loading it onto a flatbed, the driver damaged the underside, including scraping a hole in the battery causing it to leak coolant. But the point to all of this is not what happened, but how much it cost to replace it. The Ford dealership replaced it for a whopping $28,000.
Winching your Mustang Mach-E down at the battery rail is not a good thing
A Mach-E Forum poster was driving from Canada to Florida when his screen flashed one of those ominous instructions “Pull over Safely.” The car also began slowing down simultaneously. Ford Road Side Assistance summoned a tow truck to hook it to a Ford dealer. When the flatbed operator was winching the Mach-E onto that bed he mistakenly winched it down at the battery rail.
Then the battery started leaking fluid, so the cooling system was punctured as well as the damage to the battery guard rails. The towing operator was unaware that there are specific points under the car to both jack it up and winch it down. Four areas for jacking, and two up front for winching. Ford designers strengthened those areas to avoid the damage the forum poster had. We can’t tell you why there are no winch points in the rear.
Lifting or jacking up the Mustang Mach-E has areas to do that from
The same goes for lift points. Using a lift means positioning it in those areas or it is possible to puncture the battery. And this goes for unibody vehicles as well, not just EVs. The difference is that the single most-expensive component; the battery, can get damaged if not done properly. On a unibody vehicle, you just end up deforming the underside of the car doing it the wrong way.
So just as there are unique problems that can arise for any vehicle, the same goes for towing your EV. If and when you are unfortunate enough to need a tow, make sure the operator knows about the special towing points under your car. Otherwise, you might be looking at a $28,000 clip for a dealer to replace it.
Are batteries getting any cheaper?
Slowly, the price of batteries is going down. But not enough to ever make it a reasonable cost to replace them. And especially with newer vehicles, replacement components can be very expensive, no matter what the broken part might be.
Another problem with parts for new cars is that in some cases the vehicles are ahead of parts availability. Usually, regional manufacturer warehouses can get new-car components to dealerships fairly fast. But not always. The inconvenience, and sometimes cost for a rental, while your car sits at the dealership, can be huge.
So make sure the tow operator knows his stuff, or the price you pay for that tow might force you to get a second mortgage on your house.