Many people would like an electric car if only it were a little cheaper. So far, those interested in cars that cost around three hundred thousand crowns very often come across the fact that there are few used cars. But even if they score, they haven’t won yet. A ten-year battery may not last. A few phone calls to branded service centers assured us that replacing it with an original would cost almost as much as a new car.
When it comes to battery life, e-mobility enthusiasts often have examples with hundreds of kilometers without breakdowns at hand. This is the encouraging part of the story. But in general, the older the battery, the less safe it is. Otherwise, the battery in the Nissan Leaf ages, otherwise in the Mitsubishi i-MIEV and otherwise in the Tesla.
Also, the condition of the items is greatly affected by user handling. Rather than frequent quick recharges – which some older cars weren’t even equipped with – the battery is put to the test of extreme cycling: idle discharge and one hundred percent charge.
Unfavorable, both laws add up. Electric age accumulators used very little energy. The range of the Leaf and i-MIEV barely reached 150 kilometers when new. This motivated the user to use the capacity to the last drop and the faster the battery got tired.
The logical opposite is the durability of most Tesla cars. Not only do they have quality and management cells with efficient cooling and heating. Accumulators with 85, 90 or even 100 kilowatt hours had a huge reserve at the same time, and the owners did not have to drive them “for blood”. But be careful: poorer variants and used to the max about two hundred thousand kilometers they also failed.
So, sooner or later, a replacement may occur, showing further pain of older cars, regardless of driving style. As long as the car type in question is mass-produced, spare parts are taken off mass production lines at a favorable volume discount. The producer creates a stock, which he gradually sells.
By the time shelves are emptied and parts need to be replenished, the original assembly lines have already been dismantled and supply chains redirected to the next car model. Parts for the “veteran” are already being produced elsewhere – in smaller series and at a higher price.
If we multiply the already high price of a lithium battery by this premium, we get numbers that the used vehicle owner doesn’t want to hear.
A ten-year-old Nissan Leaf with 100,000 kilometers driven costs 250,000 kroner, a full battery costs 827,000. You can buy a seven-year-old Volkswagen e-Golf with 75,000 kilometers for 450,000 kroner, a full battery for 930,000.
The battery in the basic 2011 Citroën C-Zero recently increased in price from half a million to 770 thousand crowns, which is five times the price of the car. The service apologized for the plug-in hybrid Opel Ampera, they will no longer help us with a ten-year-old car.
The “older, more expensive” logic is confirmed by the fact that a complete battery would cost less than eight hundred thousand for the current Škoda Enyaq. At the same time, the capacity of 82 kilowatt hours is three times higher than that of the e-Golf.
Very often battery performance decreases due to a defective cell. Therefore, it is usually enough to replace one module at a price of about fifty thousand. However, with an outdated battery, another module can fail at any time.
The discount of full batteries below the current level is not yet in sight. The disparity described will most likely favor the growth of autonomous repairs, but it will be difficult to guarantee quality and safety.