Certification of batteries in used cars – a pilot from Germany

An often trotted out argument against EVs is the rapid decline in their value, which is said to be related to battery degradation. This factor is an important consideration in consumers’ decision to buy a driven EV. Legitimate concerns are being addressed in Germany by a collaboration between mobile.de, the largest portal for the sale of used cars, and Hyundai. They have launched a pilot project that allows the battery on a driven EV to be analysed and independently assessed for capacity, performance and reliability. Each vehicle is then issued with a certificate indicating the condition of the battery.

The mobile.de platform, Germany’s largest online marketplace for used (as well as new) vehicles, in cooperation with Hyundai Motor Deutschland, offers dealers, car dealers and individuals the opportunity to use battery certificates in the marketing of used electric vehicles. The integration of battery status certificates into the sales system increases transparency and promotes buyer confidence, and may gradually become crucial to their decision to purchase a driven electric vehicle. Lack of objective information on battery status is a common barrier to buying electric “rides” today – up to 92 percent of mobile.de users find battery certificates very useful in their purchasing decisions.

The new feature is gradually being developed and tested. As part of the Hyundai Promise programme, partner dealers carry out battery diagnostics, which are then certified by the independent company AVILOO. Hyundai says the certificates are meaningful in overcoming scepticism about second-hand vehicles whose power is provided by energy stored in high-voltage batteries. “We have been tracking the condition of the batteries in used vehicles since 2020 as part of the Hyundai Promise programme and now, thanks to this collaboration, we can prove that the batteries in many of our vehicles have comparable values to new batteries, even at high mileage,” said Tobias Krumnikl, Head of Business Customers and Driven Vehicle Strategy at Hyundai Motor Deutschland.

The joint test pilot, scheduled to run for six months, aims to contribute to better customer orientation in the growing used EV market. “With the introduction of battery certificates, dealers can benefit from better visibility of the vehicles in their offer, get more leads for their advert and sell the car in their offer more quickly,” names Florian Baur, sales director at mobile.de, as another benefit of the programme.

The Hyundai Promise initiative brings transparency, trust and convenience to customers when buying a used car, regardless of brand. In Germany, it thus supports its dealerships in developing the used vehicle market and opens up new opportunities for the sale of used electric vehicles as well.

Briefly about EV batteries and their degradation:

  • EV users report that battery degradation is around 2 to 3 percent per year, depending on how the vehicle is used and charged.
  • Although DC fast charging is considered convenient, it can have a negative impact on the “health” of the battery. It is therefore recommended to use it in moderation and in combination with AC (slow) charging at home.
  • DC fast charging should be used judiciously as its regular use can lead to faster battery degradation.
  • It is recommended to keep the battery charge level between 20% and 80% to prolong battery life and minimise degradation.
  • It is also important to avoid charging to 100% and letting the battery stand for a long time at maximum capacity, as well as avoiding discharging below 10%.
  • Proper battery care and limiting the use of DC fast charging can go a long way in maintaining battery health and minimizing battery degradation.

The topic of EV battery degradation has long been of interest to us at SEVA and we are preparing an assessment of the current state of play and similar initiatives here in Slovakia.
Stay tuned!

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