Pending the development of garage networks capable of intervening at an acceptable cost in the event of breakdowns involving the traction battery and powertrain components, it is already possible to acquire an electric car with greater confidence. How ? Going through a professional who will guarantee the good health of these elements.
There are more and more professionals offering vehicles on the internet. But they do not necessarily have a very extensive electric vehicle offer. Therefore, it is interesting to choose those who are best placed in this subject. For example, the selection of electric cars on the Stellantis & You site consists of 65 used entries and 9 demonstration models, with a great diversity in terms of types and segments.
On August 5, 2022, there are, for example: Peugeot Ion, e-208 and e-2008; Citroën C-Zero, ë-C4 and ë-Spacetourer; DS 3 Crossback E-Tense; Opel Corsa-e and Zafira-e; Renault Zoe; Smart Fortwo. The whole thing, usually in several copies. You can even occasionally find used vehicles there, like this Peugeot Partner currently featured.
It will be difficult to observe such a wide range of used electric cars in the dealers as the market increases. However, many dealers display their EV models on this page. You might find yours there.
Battery status to check
But if you had to go through a private person or a workshop that would only give a somewhat short warranty, especially regarding the battery, you need to make sure that the package is in good condition. However, few sellers will allow you to use the car for a full day or two. However, it would be a good thing to check that the original autonomy is still there or at least not too diminished.
While it’s clear that on the track you’ll find it hard to match the numbers from the official WLTP bikes, halving the range, especially after a smooth ride in mild temperatures, should make you wary.
The ideal would be to be able to obtain a health check, for example through Moba, formerly known as “The Beautiful Battery”. The list of compatible vehicles has grown significantly, with around forty electric models supported, some of which are brand new. Thus Opel Mokka-e, Citroën ë-C4, Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, Skoda Enyaq and Dacia Spring.
8-10 years at ease
In the early 2010s, manufacturers estimated the battery life to be at least 5 years with normal use of the electric car. In retrospect, but also the progress on the cells, it is possible to count on 10 years of peace and more before the usable energy capacity falls below 70-75%.
This range is the threshold below which a lithium-ion pack is considered too weak to keep vehicles moving. However, this does not necessarily mark the end of the life of the cells, which can still be used for stationary energy storage for a few years.
If losing more than a quarter of the battery’s capabilities was indeed a problem with cars with a real autonomy of the order of 120-150 km, it is much less so with large packs. Giving up 100 km, for initially 400 km of autonomy, still gives a very good margin to move relatively far.
When will there be a network of special RE workshops?
The fear that currently hangs over the health of the batteries built into used EVs is mainly driven by the impossibility of traditional mechanic networks to intervene to repair them at an acceptable cost. Therefore, the disproportionate offers that can easily exceed 20,000 euros, whereas in many cases an invoice of 1,000 euros, spare parts and labor, would be sufficient.
Sometimes it is just a cell, probe, sensor or any electronic component that is faulty. Several companies have already tried to emerge in the field of specialized electrical repair. Most of the time without a sequel, or without the sequels they initially envisioned. However, one of them seems to have got off to a very good start, with a first address registering excellent results. This is the E-Garages Revolte network that is being created.
After the Rennes site (35) opened a few weeks ago, the Nantes site was to be inaugurated during the month of September. This structure plans to train mechanics to form a convincing national network. Its roadmap for an electric car to run for more than 100 years is likely to reassure motorists who would still be hesitant to go electric.