How can you be certain you’re getting a good used electric vehicle? Some companies are working to develop an EV battery health test to determine an EV’s value.
Some drivers only purchase used vehicles exclusively and won’t go for a new model, mostly because of the depreciation over the first few years on the road. The electric vehicle market is growing and changing so quickly that it’s hard to understand whether or not used models are actually worth the cost, time, and energy required to drive them. Thankfully, some companies are working on a way to ensure buying used EVs won’t be the gamble it currently seems to be.
The traditional formula doesn’t apply here
How do experts determine a car’s value? Typically, this is done using the mileage, age, and vehicle condition. Other factors go into this, including demand and maintenance records, but mileage and age are two of the most important factors in determining the prices of used cars. Unfortunately, this formula won’t work with EVs. Electric cars use large battery packs that might not hold a charge as well as when they were new or offer the same driving range as early in their lives.
A new way to test EV battery health
Until recently, no tools existed to measure battery health for EVs. This makes it difficult for automakers and experts to determine the value of a vehicle. EV battery tests make a huge difference in calculating the amount an EV should sell for. Some of these tests only take a few minutes, making the job much easier.
One test comes from a UK startup called Altelium. This test kit should be used at more than 7,000 car dealers across the United States and 5,000 UK dealers by the end of this year. This test is being launched through dealer service providers, including Assurant and GardX.
Why is the EV battery health test important?
An EV battery makes up a vast amount of a car’s value. These batteries are extremely expensive to replace, which makes buying used EVs without understanding how long they will last after purchase. This new EV battery health test gives customers purchasing used EVs the peace of mind to know they can trust the vehicle and drive it for a few years before replacing the battery pack. This new test can help dealers and consumers know how an EV has been treated, which is important.
What information do new EV owners need?
The batter health is an important factor in the EV world. This new test should help dealers and consumers understand how an EV was treated by the previous owner. If the battery is being charged too often, constantly being charged to full, or being left plugged into the charger for long periods after the battery reaches full, the battery can degrade more quickly. Much like owners of traditional vehicles that don’t change the oil regularly or maintain other fluids, this battery health test offers necessary information that should contribute to the EV’s value.
What are these battery tests finding?
Another company, Aviloo, had developed an EV battery health test for dealers and private sellers. This company has found that after a little more than 62,000 miles, EV battery health can vary up to 30%. This means a driver that would utilize up to 90% of the battery driving range when the EV is new might only have 70% of that driving range available when buying a used model because the previous owner didn’t properly care for the battery. This could potentially cut thousands of dollars off the price of a used EV.
Mileage doesn’t matter
Although mileage and age will matter because EV batteries have a limited lifespan, the actual mileage doesn’t matter in an electric vehicle. The most important factor for some consumers is the remaining driving range after an EV has hit the used market. Prices of used EVs are dropping quickly, with the uncertainty associated with the driving range. Understanding this factor will go a long way in determining the value of an EV.
Used shoppers want peace of mind
EV battery health tests will become more and more important for consumers looking for used models of some of the most popular EVs. The growth of the EV market means many models sold in 2021 will hit the used market in 2024 when the 36-month leases expire. The next owners of these electric vehicles want to know if the EV driving range is adequate for them to drive these cars for many years.
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