Electric car owners to be hit by next wave of UK car crime cables and batteries targeted06/07/2021
Car theft: New technology 'makes it easier' says expert
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A leading metal expert who works with police forces across the UK has told Express.co.uk electric cables and EV batteries will soon be at risk. It comes as global demand for parts inside the cars has soared in recent months, sparking interest from criminals.
Robin Edwards analyst at ONIS consulting works with the British Transport Police and the National Police Chiefs Council and has warned some parts could be worth a ”lot of money”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he even warned a new black market for electric car batteries could become the next big area for officers.
He warned the price of new batteries could be too high for many consumers, which could force many to purchase stolen goods to repair their vehicles.
He said: “To be honest there is probably going to be three [areas] to this.
“The EV charging points because they have a copper cable, so they are going to knick it for the copper cable.
“Then you’ve got the lithium-ion batteries. I’m not saying they are worth anything scrap value but they seem to be attractive for people to do other things like store electricity.
“Another thing I’d say for example you’ve got a five-year-old electric car, the battery is coming to the end of its serviceable life.
“It will cost you about £4,000 to replace it and someone could offer you a low mileage one for £1,000 which just bolts on underneath, that’s another risk.
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“But in the shorter term I think it is going to be the EV cables and additional car parts are going to be stripped and sold, because they are worth a lot of money.
“Some of it will be shipped overseas as well, the headlights and other parts are common overseas as well.”
His warnings come after a surge in catalytic converter crime over the past year as the price of precious metals found inside the devices such as rhodium and palladium increased.
Car insurance firm Admiral said they saw a 44 percent increase in catalytic converter thefts in 2020 compared to the year before.
Insurance firm Ageas said the crime made up 30 percent of theft claims from private vehicles across the first quarter of 2021.
It came after rhodium tipped in value across 2020 with the metal now valued higher than gold.
It’s this surge in demand as commodity prices increase scaring experts. Analysis shows copper is now following a similar pattern.
Last month, Bank of America’s commodity expert Michael Widmer said the world risked “running out of copper” amid supply deficits.
He warned copper markets would likely decline this year and into 2022.
Dabid Neuhauser, founder of US hedge fund Livermore Partners even suggested copper was becoming “the new oil”.
Mr Edwards told Express.co.uk the way to solve the issue would be to get tougher on dealers who buy any materials without checks.
He said: “It’s clamping down on the illicit trade that’s willing to buy anything that comes to its gates. Whether that is [Catalytic Converters] or cables.
“Electric cable is starting to become a problem again, not just with the vehicle side of things, telecommunications cable etc… anything that’s copper.
“Copper is at the highest price it has ever been so from an infrastructure perspective there is a lot of threat.”
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