The value of used gasoline cars is primarily determined by the cars’ age. However, used electric vehicles (EVs) are different. Their value depends primarily on the battery’s driving range and its ability to hold a charge.

Until recently, gauging battery health was a challenge. This has limited the sales of used EVs. However, cleantech companies are rapidly scaling up EV battery tests, some of which can be completed in just minutes.

Altelium, a UK start-up, will launch an EV battery state-of-health test and certificate this year. Altelium is partnering with over 7,000 US car dealers and 5,000 UK dealers, as reported by Reuters.

One of the key factors influencing battery health is how owners handle their batteries. EV owners who charge their vehicles slowly and unplug their chargers when the battery is full will have healthier batteries than owners who don’t take these steps.

Aviloo, an Austrian start-up, has developed a test for dealers and private individuals. The test reveals that after 100,000 kilometers (62,140 miles), EV battery health can vary by up to 30%. This means that the actual range of a used EV could be significantly lower than when it was new due to the previous owner’s charging habits.

Michael Willvonseder, an Austrian EV customer, relied on Aviloo to check the battery capacity of a used Tesla Model S before making a purchase. It had 90% of its original capacity.

Another notable player in the EV battery testing space is TUV Rheinland. TUV Rheinland is a German technical systems certifier with operations in over 50 countries.

Last fall, TUV Rheinland launched Battery Quick Check in collaboration with Twaice. Battery Quick Check is already providing battery analysis services in workshops across Germany. The service will expand to other nations next year.

Filling a big gap

Independent battery tests are crucial. Automakers are often criticized for providing overly optimistic EV range information. This results in a lack of buyer confidence, which forces auto dealers to slash prices.

According to Recurrent, a start-up tracking EV batteries, used EV prices in the US saw a 32% year-over-year decrease in September. This compared to a 7% drop in prices for fossil fuel models.

In the UK, used EV prices were down 23% year-over-year in August. Meanwhile, fossil fuel models saw an increase of over 4%.

Analysts have cited consumer concerns about battery life in used EVs as a major reason for this trend. Additionally, Tesla’s aggressive price cuts have pushed down used EV prices.

The proper valuation of used EVs is becoming urgent due to the upcoming influx of used EVs hitting the market. According to Future Market Insights, global used EV sales will more than double over the next decade from $17.9 billion US per year to $40.1 billion US per year.

Low used EV prices could potentially lower new EV prices as well. To ensure that EV makers can continue to make healthy profits, a well-functioning used car market is crucial.

Image Source: voyage vixen (she/her),