Expert answer: General inspection for electric cars

Johannes Kautenburger, motor vehicle expert from the expert organization KÜS

Electric cars enjoy many advantages. Among other things, these are exempt from vehicle tax in the long term. Is there a special treatment for Stromer at the HU?

Question: Do other rules apply to electric cars at an HU compared to vehicles with a combustion engine? 

Answer from Johannes Kautenburger, motor vehicle expert at the expert organization KÜS:

“If you switch to an electric car, you don't have to make a big change in terms of the general inspection. In essence, everything works for the owner like a car with a combustion engine. There are only a few other areas of focus for the examiner.  

Like all other cars, e-cars have to undergo the official technology check, which certifies their suitability for safe use on the road. Here, too, the focus is on functional tests of safety-relevant aspects such as lights, brakes, tires and the condition of the chassis. If it is a new vehicle, the first HU date for electric cars is also only due 36 months after the initial registration. Afterwards, e-cars like cars with combustion engines have to endure the procedure every two years. When the next appointment is due can be found in the registration certificate Part I or in the vehicle registration document. The HU sticker on the rear license plate also provides information about this.  

As a rule, emissions tests (AU) are carried out in parallel on emitting cars as part of the general inspection. This naturally does not apply to purely battery-electric vehicles, but not to hybrid vehicles, which can also drive electrically, but also produce exhaust gases via their additional internal combustion engine. Although all-electric cars are emission-free, they too have to wear a green particulate matter sticker in their windshield, which is also issued by vehicle inspection organizations. 

As part of the general inspection, testers for e-cars pay special attention to the high-voltage components of the drive. A superficial inspection looks for defective or missing insulation, damage to cables or the battery box, missing covers or incorrect fastenings. Anything that could cause a short circuit is viewed critically. That's why even the charging cables are checked for damage. In addition, leakages and the escape of dangerous substances are checked.  

If one or more glaring defects become apparent during the HU, a follow-up examination is usually necessary. An electrically powered vehicle must then be demonstrated again within four weeks in order to demonstrate that the defect has been remedied. If this has been implemented as required, the badge is issued, which an uncontested car receives at the first appointment. 

A follow-up inspection causes additional costs, which is why it can be worthwhile to subject the vehicle to a defect check before the first general inspection appointment. If, for example, a headlight is defective or a tire is worn, these problems should be resolved before the examination appointment. When replacing defective lamps, for example, you can often lend a hand yourself, but if there are defects in the high-voltage technology, they should only be repaired by professionals.  

The HU costs the e-car owner around 40 euros less, since, as already indicated, no emissions measurement has to be carried out. Depending on the federal state as well as the implementing organization, the prices can vary somewhat. Should the e-car have to be examined, this alone costs an additional 15 to 25 euros. "

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