1 Jun 23

“Battery certificate will become a requirement”

Roland Gagel, Head of Mobility Industry at TÜV-SÜD, (picutre) is not just a board member of CARA. He also headed the European Car Remarketing Association’s EV battery State of Health certification task force. That’s a mouthful, but remember SoH. That abbreviation will become increasingly crucial to remarketers, as they trade more and more used EVs. 

Roland, why are batteries so important to the valuation of used EVs? 

“Electrification is a major change. It means the appreciation of what is a good used car will shift. Traditionally, mileage and age were proper indicators of the quality of a combustion engine. Now, we will need a data-driven valuation of the traction battery.”

“Batteries are a very expensive part of the EV. They’re quite reliable, but there is still a lot of uncertainty – not to say mistrust – in the market regarding used batteries. From their bad experience with mobile phone batteries, car buyers conclude that EV batteries won’t last for a vehicle lifetime of 15 years or longer.” 

So they want certainty, in other words: a certificate

“Indeed. Checking the State of Health – SoH for short – of the battery of a used EV will become a requirement for trading high-quality used cars. In other words: to differentiate them from ‘lemons’. That is why CARA has developed a CARA-approved Certification Scheme for Battery Health Checks. As the first scheme of its kind, it sets the industry standard for testing and evaluating used car batteries.”

“The scheme is now available to the market, and CARA members are keen to deploy it to ensure that the relevant information on the battery SoH – that is: the residual power capacity compared to its initial capacity – is displayed at the time of the trade, and can be used along the trade chain to the end user.” 

Will customers need an SoH certificate? And will remarketers be obliged to offer one?

“I believe that EVs without a clearly stated battery health status will be more difficult to remarket, and this as soon as the coming year. With a standardized battery health check, used car sellers and buyers are safe when trading a used EV.”

“For its scheme, CARA focused expressly on using the SoH from the battery management system itself because this is reproducible by any dealership performing a detailed battery analysis. Further independent evaluations will be needed in specific situations, including used EVs that were in a crash, that have damaged batteries, that have an extraordinary value, or where the basic test of the battery management system has shown an atypically low SoH.”

In the future, which specialized solutions will remarketers need to focus on if they want to satisfy customer needs and wants?  

“Excellent images and vehicle history data will become even more important. But the key to selling a used EV is – and I repeat myself – the battery health status, measured as SoH. CARA proudly offers this new industry standard under an EU-recognised certification scheme. The first providers are being certified and will go to market in the second quarter of this year.”

This article is from our latest remarketing E-Book: Optimising the Used Vehicle Customer Journey in a Changing World, which can be downloaded for free.

Author: Frank Jacobs

Image: Shutterstock