EV battery health ‘must’ join mileage and age as key used car valuation metric

Electric vehicle (EV) battery health ‘must’ join age and mileage as key metric for used car valuation, but new legislation may be needed, it has been claimed .

Speaking ahead of a July 27 update to Auto Trader’s Road to 2030 report, brand manager Marc Palmer told AM it was inconceivable that the available range of an electric vehicle would not play a role. role in its residual valuations.

But Cap HPI’s director of assessments, Derren Martin, said efforts to get the necessary information from OEMs were proving “difficult” and suggested new legislation may be needed to compel EV makers to share. their data.

Palmer, who recently discussed the electric vehicle market on the AM News Show podcast, said, “Consider, for example, a Nissan Leaf at 40,000 miles. One advertised car might have 90% battery health while another has 80%. This greatly impacts the range of the car and its value in the eyes of an informed consumer. At some point, it will have to play a role in valuations.

“How a car is charged plays a huge role, with fast charging impacting long-term battery life, but the consumer who has researched a car online and referenced its original claimed range will not shouldn’t have to pay the price.”

Customer service and transparency

Martin, who updated AM on used-car market trends last week, said adding battery health to his used-vehicle ratings was becoming a priority.

“It’s not something most OEMs are happy to provide easily. We are actively talking about it with people, but it looks like we need new legislation to ensure data sharing,” Martin said.

He added: “If your neighbor buys you an identical car but your car’s battery health and range is 10% lower, you wish you had paid less for it.”

In the current issue of AM magazine explore the effects of the shift to zero-emission vehicle sales on retail car sales.

Martin Miller, the founder of car retailer EV Experts, said his company had formulated its own method for determining the range of used EV batteries and said it was proud to advise buyers on “real life” range. of a car.

Miller said, “If we sold a 2016 Leaf that had a 120-mile range, you could easily sell it as a 100-mile range car. If you advertise used electric vehicles as having the same range capability as new vehicles, you’re going to get unhappy customers.

Former Hyundai Motor UK chairman and CEO Tony Whitehorn, now a consultant to automotive OEMs and retailers, told AM that most battery degradation happens after the first six years of the cycle. life of an electric vehicle.

Tony Whitehorn, TW ConsultingHe suggested that developments in battery production techniques – particularly the introduction of nickel and cobalt, as well as the promise of solid-state batteries in the future – were reducing the impact of degradation.

But he acknowledged that fast charging continued to take more of a toll on battery health and added: “Electric vehicle owners should be advised that they should charge their vehicles to 80 per cent. Extended charging beyond this point also impacts battery life.

The way auto retailers inform their customers, describe and sell cars will only become a divisive issue unless battery health becomes a more transparent assessment metric.

A growing fleet of used electric vehicles

Palmer said that by 2025 there will be four times as many used electric vehicles in the UK car fleet as there are today and more price-conscious potential buyers will not have not yet entered the market.

About one in five searches at Auto Trader are now for an electric vehicle, which is four times higher than a year and a half ago, Palmer said. But he added: “We haven’t seen any change in the demographics of people looking at these cars. What we want to see is more mainstream buyers with normal budgets looking at electric vehicles, but that’s not happening. product not.

“Demand is still mainly driven by the wealthy. That’s probably no surprise given the list price of electric vehicles.

Palmer said 36% of views on Auto Trader were for cars under £30,000. At this value, potential customers have 175 different gasoline and diesel car models to choose from, but only 26 electric vehicles.

Price parity, which Palmer predicts could be achieved between 2024 and 2026, should provide owners of electric vehicles with significant savings in running costs.

Palmer said the spike in petrol and diesel prices had seen a previous running cost benchmark of around £140 per 1,000 miles accelerate to £176 more recently.

But he added: “Unfortunately, it’s not because electric vehicles are getting cheaper.”