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Consumers ‘hugely overestimate’ EV battery degradation

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Car buying consumer “hugely overestimate” the battery degradation suffered by electric vehicles (EV), allowing themselves to be dissuaded from a purchase by its perceived range-sapping effects.

Research from Startline Motor Finance found that 56% of consumers believed a zero-emissions car’s battery would lose 30% or more of range after five years, despite a real world drop-off more likely to be less than 15%.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Anecdotal feedback shows there is a lot of misinformation among the general public about used car electric vehicle (EV) batteries and how quickly they degrade - and our findings clearly back that up.

“It’s an important subject for the future of the used car market. If someone is considering buying an EV for the first time, they are likely to be put off if they hugely overestimate the speed at which electric cars lose range.

“The fact is that there is now quite a lot of real world information about battery life available and, as long as the previous owner has been sensible about the way in which the car has been charged, the drop-off in range is likely to be relatively low over time.”

Carretailers across the UK have ramped-up their efforts to educate car buyers about EVs in recent years, with Arnold Clark opening two Innovations Centres to advise potential customers.

Waylands Automotive, meanwhile, has established Waylands E, a standalone EV retail business, with the aim of offering advice to used car buyers.

The National Franchised Dealers Association's (NFDA) Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) accrediattion has also trained businesses to ensure they offer the best advice when its comes to zero-emissions transport.

Burgess said it was encouraging that 44% of people in Startline’s research had estimated the loss in range more accurately, saying the fall in range would be 20% or less.

He said: “This does arguably show that a sizeable minority of people are in the ballpark of getting the figure right, which is promising, but the used car sector clearly still much to do to educate people about how EV batteries perform over time.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs.

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