Owing to government legislation putting pressure on diesel internal combustion engines, combustion engines in general and the introduction of ultra-low emission zones, the electric car is starting to become the compelling proposition in many people’s eyes.

Media coverage of the latest electric offerings certainly excite the general public and raise the profile of the tantalising technology that is on offer, however, one large aspect of the automotive market is being overlooked, that of the second-hand purchaser.

For over one hundred years people have been purchasing second-hand cars, the majority being internal combustion powered. They are a known quantity, and even if you picked up a cantankerous old vehicle, there was a good chance that given the correct fuel and topped up with oil and coolant you had a reasonable chance of predicting how far you could travel. You may have even purchased a vehicle knowing that an engine swap would be on the cards.

Unfortunately, this certainty does not exist in the second-hand EV market. Simply, there are not enough collective datapoints to predict how the battery is going to last. Miles covered used to be a reliable indicator of general vehicle wear, but this does not translate to battery vehicles. Put simply, even if the vehicle has done low miles, there is a good chance the battery may have degraded over the years, and you have no idea how long your new investment will last. Even old generation hybrids can often fare better, a Prius with a dead battery can still fall back on its 1.5 litre ICE providing reliable, albeit slow, transportation.

So how do we solve this issue?

There are two potential routes, that of education and that of peace-of mind.

If manufacturers were compelled to publish all the real-world figures regarding real world range in different environments, degradation curves for the batteries and cost-to-replace figures then consumers would be able to make an informed decision on if a particular vehicle of a particular configuration and age would meet their needs. A retiree requiring a local runabout may well be happy with a vehicle that a motorway cruising salesman would turn their nose up at.

What of those people who do not have time to painstakingly research the various models of EV and weight them up against their use cases? The answer is Insurance. Aftermarket battery insurance schemes done well – may potentially be the biggest incentive needed to convert many people onto an all-electric path. Removing the uncertainty would allow customers to amortise their investment over a time with predictable outlay.

Naturally, those insurance providers would be very keen on obtaining those real-world figures to base their statistics and calculate premiums. So, it is in everyone’s best interest that transparent performance data become standardised and available. 

Whatever happens, it is clear that EVs are here to stay and in the course of time these issues will resolve themselves as the market forces exert their influence. 

In my next article we will be looking at the nature of repairability and the right to repair electric vehicles and whether vehicle manufactures should be able to dictate to end users what they can and cannot do with their property.

Stay tuned for more! You can also contact us at www.cadonix.com to see how Arcadia can help your business, we can even get you up and running right away!