Home US The used electric car time bomb: Older electric vehicles could be difficult to sell because the batteries are not guaranteed

The used electric car time bomb: Older electric vehicles could be difficult to sell because the batteries are not guaranteed

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A five-year-old Renault Zoe costs £9,100 but a new battery will cost you £24,124

Money Mail can today reveal a looming ticking time bomb on the second-hand electric vehicle (EV) market.

Our research found that many electric vehicles could be nearly impossible to resell due to their limited battery life.

Experts said the average electric vehicle battery warranty lasts only eight years. After this time, the battery may lose power more quickly and therefore reduce mileage between charges.

Many electric vehicles will lose up to 12 percent of their charging capacity after six years. Some may lose even more.

However, our research found that the cost of replacing an electric vehicle battery is surprisingly high.

A five-year-old Renault Zoe costs £9,100 but a new battery will cost you £24,124

In some cases the cost of a replacement battery amounts to £40,000. For certain electric vehicles, the cost of replacing the battery could be ten times the value of the vehicle itself on the second-hand market.

That means used EVs have a limited lifespan, making them an increasing risk as the years go by.

Research on EV batteries has not yet been conclusive and the second-hand EV market is new, with the first popular EVs rolling off the production line in 2009.

Last night, a motoring expert said customers should be careful when purchasing a used electric car beyond its warranty (usually eight years), as after that period there is no easy way to measure how much the battery will degrade before it may be necessary to replace it.

This may mean that you will end up having to pay for an expensive new battery.

Motor expert Shahzad Sheikh, who runs YouTube channel Brown Car Guy, said: “With a deteriorating battery, range will be poor and it may become increasingly difficult to resell the vehicle after eight years.”

Buyers will know that they will only get a small amount of life out of the car, so they will pay only a small sum, if at all.’

This problem is compounded by the fact that all new cars hitting the market in 2035 will be electric and drivers will have to get used to paying around £10,000 more than their petrol equivalent for a vehicle that is not built to last. so much.

Take a new petrol Renault Clio, for example: it costs around £20,000, while its all-electric opposite, the Renault Zoe, costs closer to £30,000.

While you can drive a traditional gasoline or diesel car for about 200,000 miles over 14 years before the engine needs to be repaired or replaced, by comparison, a new electric vehicle typically has a 100,000-mile warranty over eight years.

If you need to replace your petrol engine you can expect to pay around £5,000, but if you replace your electric vehicle’s battery outside of warranty you’ll get between £13,000 and £40,000, depending on the make of your car, if you install a unit. new from the manufacturer.

The used electric car time bomb Older electric vehicles could

And there are external factors that influence battery degradation, including the use of fast chargers and even colder weather.

The high cost of electric vehicle batteries is due to the difficulty of extracting metals such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and manganese used in lithium-ion batteries.

They are also in demand for the production of other electronic products, including mobile phones and laptops.

In the most extreme cases, such as with a 12-year-old Nissan Leaf that cost £2,000 to buy, you can pay up to £24,000 for a new 24kWh replacement battery.

However, most owners would upgrade to a newer 40kWh Nissan battery which would cost £12,780 before garage installation costs of around £2,000. This latest battery has a higher capacity but can still be installed in older models.

These high maintenance costs for an electric car do not bode well for a nascent second-hand market, believes Shahzad Sheikh, who points out: “Early adopters have already bought electric cars, while the next wave of buyers are looking for a good value quality-price, and struggling to find it.

“The second-hand market may seem like a natural place to look for an electric vehicle, but unfortunately it is fraught with danger, as the batteries are worth more than the car. If the battery stops working, the vehicle practically loses its value.’

Vehicle trading website AA Cars agrees, saying almost half of all potential second-hand electric vehicle buyers are put off by concerns about battery life.

1714530513 263 The used electric car time bomb Older electric vehicles could

Replacing your EV battery out of warranty will cost between £13,000 and £40,000 depending on the make of your car if you install a new unit from the manufacturer.

According to the RAC, rightly so. He cites the Nissan Leaf as one of the most popular second-hand electric vehicles, which by the time it is eight years old may have lost 20 percent of the range it had when new.

This is because the battery loses efficiency, so it achieves a distance of 160 kilometers between charges instead of the theoretical 200 kilometers.

This may be fine for local trips, but impractical for long highway trips. The RAC adds that motorists could expect the battery to lose perhaps 2 per cent of its energy each year due to such degradation.

While motorists can try to save time by using a gas station fast charger, they generate more heat, which accelerates a chemical reaction within the lithium-ion battery that can lead to a loss of the capacity it can hold over time. .

To prolong battery life, it may be best to charge the car with a slower mains-connected home charger.

Climate also influences battery life, and electric vehicle batteries work best at a temperature between 25 and 45 degrees Celsius.

If you live somewhere with freezing winter temperatures, this will slow down chemical reactions in EV batteries, which can also reduce the charge held over time and therefore reduce a car’s overall range.

To prolong battery life, it may be best to charge the car with a slower mains-connected home charger.

To prolong battery life, it may be best to charge the car with a slower mains-connected home charger.

Therefore, it is better to charge your electric vehicle inside a garage than outdoors during the cold winter months.

Tom Barnard, of electric vehicle experts Electrifying.com, advises drivers to buy a second-hand car with a battery still under warranty. This typically covers the first eight years of driving or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

He says: “If you buy an electric vehicle that’s more than eight years old and has more miles on it, then you’re risking whether the battery will hold up.” You can’t just look at the stopwatch like in a traditional car.

«There is a wide combination of other variables to consider in an electric car battery.

“Battery degradation could also become a more important consideration in the future (as we try to be more sustainable) and perhaps be included in an MOT.

Therefore, our advice to those who may be nervous about battery life is to buy a car that is still covered by warranty.’

Concerns about battery cost are not helped by the lack of transparency within the industry, with prices for a new battery not being announced.

Money Mail requested prices directly from Nissan and did not receive a definitive response. Buying a battery for your second-hand electric vehicle is not an isolated cost either.

There is also the labor cost of replacing it to consider, says David Smith, director of car dealership and workshop Cleevely Electric Vehicles, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

‘As a general rule, £2,000 can be budgeted for a specialist to carry out the task. Batteries generally sit flat across the length and width of the car, just above the floor pan, and are usually not too hard to reach.

‘But it is a specialist job and also requires complete knowledge of wiring and you may have to reset the vehicle’s computer to accept a replaced battery. Some companies, like Tesla, only allow their own dealers to do the work.

And what about the fate of an old electric vehicle battery that can no longer be used in a car? They typically cost £1,500 and can be used to store energy for solar panels, but many fear they will end up in landfill.

Now a number of startups are racing against the clock to find a way to recycle car batteries past their prime, including JB Straubel, former Tesla CTO, who launched Redwood Materials.

Barnard says: ‘Old batteries have intrinsic value due to the valuable metals they contain inside, and even if they are no longer practical for storing electricity, they have scrap value.

“It is still a relatively new market and we can expect it to grow further as we move towards a more renewable future.”

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The used electric car time bomb Older electric vehicles could

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