Industry standard battery check health needed for used EV market, says VRA

An industry standard battery health check is needed to create a much higher degree of confidence in the used electric vehicle (EV) sector, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).

Chair Philip Nothard explained that consumer concerns over battery health, while not always well-informed, were real, and an accurate, credible statement on the current condition of each battery and its likely future degradation would help considerably.

“EV technology is still very new to most used car buyers but many people have heard largely inaccurate stories about the rate at which batteries start to lose range and the cost if they fail completely.

“Our members agree that some form of industry standard battery health check would be the most effective solution, providing an accurate picture of what the consumer could reasonably expect in terms of current and future range and charging.

“The motor industry knows from its experience of EVs to date that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, battery degradation will tend to be relatively low over time and will also be incremental, while total battery failure is extremely rare. However, this is very much a matter of customer perception.”

The issue was discussed at this week’s VRA member meeting, held at Cox Automotive, Bruntingthorpe. Titled “The Questions About EVs Remarketing Must Answer”, it featured Lorna McAtear, fleet manager at National Grid; Stuart Chamberlain, head of B2B remarketing and partnerships at Arval; Alex Johns, business development manager at Altelium; Derren Martin, director of valuations at cap hpi; and Audrey Little, research and development executive at Arnold Clark Innovation Centre.

Philip said: “We surveyed our members before the meeting and the need for an accepted battery health check was cited by 70% as a key issue that needs resolving within the used EV sector, so this is something that is very much on the agenda.

“The question from here is how we can create something relatively cheap and easy to use, has a high level of credibility, and is easily understandable by consumers. We are aware that some of our members have been having initial discussions with the government and, of course, products are starting to make their way onto the market, such as those presented by Altelium at our meeting.

“What needs to happen now is that all these factors are brought together so that we can take steps forward as an industry, with wide-ranging discussions involving parties from across the remarketing sector and beyond. It would be very positive for the used EV sector if progress can be made quickly, we believe.”

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