Most Used Electric Car Buyers Have No Way To Confirm Vehicle Battery Health

from the this-could-be-a-problem dept

As we make the shift from gas to electric vehicles, there are a few issues we still haven't really paved the way for. One is the fact that, with gas taxes being the primary way we fund highway infrastructure, we need to develop alternative infrastructure funding (not a topic that tends to get priority in a hype and flash-obsessed culture, as John Oliver has been quick to remind everyone). The 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993, and the Congressional Budget Office says that if the funding system doesn’t evolve by 2030, federal transportation funding will exceed its budget by a cool $188 billion.

The other problem, highlighted by Aaron Gordon at Wired, is that used car buyers and sellers currently have no way to confirm the battery health of a used electric car. Given the used car market is twice as big as the new car market, you can probably see how this could become a notable problem. Especially given that the battery health meter on most of these vehicles can be reset, allowing the seller of the car to effectively lie to buyers about how much life the battery has left:

"Churchill noticed something was wrong on his drive back home. When he left, the car estimated it had 80 miles of range. By the time he finished his 25-mile commute, it said it had 30 miles of range left. And in the next few days, Churchill said the battery health meter lost two bars. When he called the dealer to complain, he was shuffled between departments and ultimately ignored.

After doing some research, Churchill learned the battery health meter can be reset using a car diagnostic tool. After resetting, the meter will display all 12 bars for a short period before recalibrating after some use, just as Churchill's did. During this time, the car is essentially lying about its battery health."

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are 17 million new cars sold in the US every year, compared to 40 million used vehicles. Currently only the Nissan Leaf even has a battery health meter customers can view. Every other electric vehicle currently on the market restricts that information to proprietary devices that typically only the sellers or dealers have access to, which will likely in time tether this whole discussion to the right to repair debate, and the obnoxious ways car makers restrict your ability to repair (or even have transparency into) things you own.

While the California Air Resources Board is cooking up a set of rules (pdf) aimed at protecting consumers from fraud on this front, the vast majority of states are... not doing that. What could possibly go wrong?

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Filed Under: car batteries, electric cars, used cards


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2021 @ 4:20pm

    Given the used car market is twice as big as the new car market

    According to the article, it involves twice as many cars—not necessarily (or likely) twice as many dollars, which is what market size is often measured in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 10 Jun 2021 @ 5:59pm

    Why can't they add a light that comes on when the battery is reset and goes off when it calibrates?

    Maybe a lawsuit or two will help curb misuse, as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2021 @ 7:42pm

      Re:

      Yeah, this is as least as bad as odometer fraud.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Shel10 (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 11:18am

      Re: Battery Light

      Vehicle manufacturers claim that they operate on razor thin profit margins. Each button, or meter added is costed estimated using several factors: cost of the device; cost of adding to the system; cost of maintenance manuals; cost of warranty; etc.

      The 10 cent meter may add 5 dollars to the cost of the vehicle which may translate into 25 dollars added to the sale price of the vehicle.

      Looking at this from the consumer point of view. Would you spend the extra 25 dollars not to lose power at 10 PM in a rural area with no cell service?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Canuck, 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: Battery Light

        Bullcrap. Today's vehicles use display screens that can display pretty much any vehicle information. They can/could/should display battery health and they could easily display "uncalibrated / unknown / recently reset / whatever".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:12am

    Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

    Although the switch from fossile to electro is a necessity it's not going to be a painless road;

    • Current battery tech uses lithium, the extraction of which is incredibly harmful to vast land areas. It's literally fighting global warming by using the current environment as ammo. And you need a lot of it, at that.

    • Replacing just a fraction of current vehicles with electro isn't going to go over well with the current civilian part of the power grid of any country. Germany alone will have to double or triple capacity within a few years. To say nothing about the in large parts already creaky infrastructure of the US.

    • Highlighted in the OP...EV's aren't cheap. Not to buy and not to maintain. And what breaks most often is a one-ton battery not exactly easy to replace - or even designed to replace. The vast majority of the citizenry aren't making the switch this half of the century barring some awe-inspiring subsidies.

    Don't get me wrong, people. Breaking with fossile fuels is a step forward we need to make. I just don't think it's going to be very much of a help against global warming in the timeframe needed for it to really matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:41am

      Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

      Germany alone will have to double or triple capacity within a few years.

      What? It seems preposterous that in July 2024 they'll have double the current capacity, or will have "needed to" (what happens if they don't?). Do you have a citation?

      What do you mean by "civilian part" of the grid? Is another part equipped to handle this load? Could cars feeding power into the grid help with any of this?

      Highlighted in the OP...EV's aren't cheap. Not to buy and not to maintain.

      No cars are cheap to maintain, but people generally seem to think battery-powered cars have significantly lower maintenance costs than fuel-burning cars (and much higher purchase costs).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jun 2021 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

        "What? It seems preposterous that in July 2024 they'll have double the current capacity, or will have "needed to" (what happens if they don't?). Do you have a citation?"

        There's a german professor - Harald Lesch - who made a few science documentariers regarding the switch from fossil fuels to alternatives. I don't have the exact link but you should be able to just google "harald lesch elektromobilität youtube". It's in german, alas.

        The logic is pretty simple however; Charging an electric car takes a lot of power. Try around 7200 watts. The average household consumes between 25-35 kWh, so it's around 30% of that. Since you always want to build the grid with a very large proportional margin to avoid burnouts, that's where we get a conservative estimate of having to double the capacity.
        But the strain alone isn't the whole issue. Currently all the power lines terminate at power stations which are mainly...gas plants, coal plants, nuclear plants, etc. You need to build extensive cabling, transformer stations etc to accommodate the power generation locations suddenly shifting as well.

        "What do you mean by "civilian part" of the grid? Is another part equipped to handle this load?"

        I'm not sure of the exact word in english...the part of the power grid which isn't a main trunk. The network extending the last few miles to households. Powerhungry factories often need to lay extra cable just to accommodate power requirements. Intercity cabling is also prepared to bear higher loads.

        Normally when you run power through a network there are limits to how much power you can run without the network overheating or overloading. If demand exceeds possible supply you get brownouts and occasionally a whole lot of very large blown fuses unless there's a catastrophic malfunction in which case some transformer station somewhere catches fire.

        " Could cars feeding power into the grid help with any of this?"

        If we were thinking about hydrogen fuel cell cars then yes. Otherwise...well, you couldn't get power out of nothing but to some extent you can mitigate the strain. If you could get every person to charge their cars in shifts so the constant burden didn't come all at once maybe...still not ideal though.

        "people generally seem to think battery-powered cars have significantly lower maintenance costs than fuel-burning cars (and much higher purchase costs)."

        Sort of correct; Electrovehicles have far fewer moving parts suffering high mechanical stress than a combustion car. Less wear and tear and the parts you need to replace are rarely going to cost you the same way a transmission will, for instance. No difference in chassi maintenance of course.

        However, all batteries degrade in performance, so an EV will degrade in performance quite predictably. And replacing the battery is an operation as significant and expensive as replacing a high-cost engine. You may be better off buying a new car in the end, with better specs.

        And of course it's still an open question whether the environment can even bear the current frenzied lithium extraction taking place. It honestly makes strip-mining look ecologically defensible in comparison.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 4:45am

      Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

      yeah, the switch to alternate vehicle fuel sources is something that needs doing (as far as I know, electric cars are the only ones with even semi viable tech at the moment).

      However I'm not looking forward to the increasing prominence of software require to run a car. Yeah, modern cars have software needed in real-time to control the engine, but electric helps push the software front.

      And there is no reason to believe that the software wont be abused /s (should I put multiple /s's for emphasis?)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      justme (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 8:08am

      Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

      you may believe that the switch is necessary, but it is not practical. evs are really only good for an around town commuter and vehicle to go shopping with, etc. try to go on any kind of a road trip and you'll find it isn't possible. here's an exercise to prove my point. pretend you own a nissan leaf and you want to drive from seattle to chicago. tell me how long it will take in an ev vs. a gasoline car. once you do this math you'll see my point. evs are way to restrictive to be usable for all uses. there is no way i'm waiting more than about 10 minutes to fill my tank, either a battery tank or gas tank.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

        evs are really only good for an around town commuter and vehicle to go shopping with, etc.

        That is almost all driving in the US. Most people who have a garage and multiple vehicles could replace one of them with an EV.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jun 2021 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

          "That is almost all driving in the US. "

          "Almost" doesn't matter. If a family just needs their car for a family excursion intercity once a year...then the switch isn't happening.

          As for replacing one car with an EV...that's assuming a large entry-level cost is paid because EV's aren't cheap and unless we really start scraping the top layer off a continent or two we aren't going to see lithium prices dropping to a level where that's to be expected.

          But yea, the switch won't be a major issue...for about 10-20% of the citizenry. That's not really good enough.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 14 Jun 2021 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

            If a family just needs their car for a family excursion intercity once a year...then the switch isn't happening.

            Except that most people in a position to consider an electric car have multiple vehicles. The BEV need not be able to do everything that all of their current cars do, it just needs to be able to replace one of them.

            As for replacing one car with an EV...that's assuming a large entry-level cost is paid

            People do buy new cars, and they are expensive regardless.

            But yea, the switch won't be a major issue...for about 10-20% of the citizenry.

            I think you're being overly pessimistic, but ranges are increasing and more models are coming out all the time, including cheaper ones. My main concerns are whether there will be a viable used market for BEVs given battery degradation, and what about people who can't charge at home? If those can be solved, we'll be fine.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        OGquaker, 13 Jun 2021 @ 1:02am

        Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

        I have only two friends in my lifetime that could fuel their car at home, they are dead. 90% of the charging of the Tesla cars are at home or the workplace: California paid for a study in the early 1990's: with the expected plugging-in of electric cars at home or work, California would never have to build another electric power generator station. Why? The present grid can store it's excess electricity for 1:120th of a second maximum, thus Enron et. al. gamed the grid transmission market and Grey Davis bought 40 billion (2001 dollars) of debt from Wall Street to keep the patient alive for one more minute. Range? 735 PlugShare public chargers are in North America now, Local governments are building charge stations & Tesla has 1,280 public locations in the US with 25,000 outlets so far. That's 20 plugs per station, 80 sold cars per plug. (Gasoline? 225 cars per pump in America). At some, the charge electricity is paid by the local business to attract customers, and most have a PV source during the day...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          justme (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 7:17am

          Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

          time to charge is the big problem. waiting hours for a charge is just unacceptable. the next big problem is range -- EVs just don't go nearly far enough on a charge.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 7:49am

            Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

            waiting hours for a charge is just unacceptable.

            With DC fast charging it's more in the neighborhood of 15-30 minutes. If you're slow charging presumably it's at home and it doesn't matter how long it takes.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              justme (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 8:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

              do my exercise and plan a road trip from seattle to chicago. in doing so you'll find that getting a fast charge station is not possible at very many locations. and even 30 minutes is unacceptable. anything more than 10 minutes is unacceptable. but seriously try the planning exercise and you'll see how foolish an EV really is.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 11:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

                If you have only one vehicle and do a lot of road trips, a BEV is not for you. But I doubt that is a lot of people.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  justme (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 12:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead ho

                  even as a second car an EV is unacceptable. why anyone would deliberately buy a car with such constraints is beyond me.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 13 Jun 2021 @ 1:43pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dea

                    even as a second car an EV is unacceptable.

                    Why? Do you go on long trips in both of your cars at the same time?

                    why anyone would deliberately buy a car with such constraints is beyond me.

                    Because they work great for what most people do with at least one of their cars.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Talmyr, 15 Jun 2021 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

          The trouble is, you only need to fill your petrol car every week or three under normal usages, not every day...so those per car numbers are much less friendly.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 15 Jun 2021 @ 1:08pm

            Re: Re: Isn't that hard at all, or beating a dead horse

            The trouble is, you only need to fill your petrol car every week or three under normal usages, not every day...so those per car numbers are much less friendly.

            If we can figure out how to let most people charge at home (or at least have the option of charging at home or at work), it won't matter so much. That's not an easy job though.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 10:21am

      Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

      Why do you say EVs are expensive to maintain?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jun 2021 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

        "Why do you say EVs are expensive to maintain?"

        Because that one thing which breaks - see the OP - may last you a while but once it does that's one massive investment similar to buying a new car.

        It may not come out to the same total but what do you find easier to fork over? A hundred payouts of about a 100$ each, distributed over time...or ten grand in one go?

        Meanwhile you can get an old combustion vehicle to run for decades while gradually replacing every last part incrementally, sometimes by picking those parts up from a scrapyard.

        And it's important to note that for quite a large proportion of the US citizenry, at least, there is no way in hell they can afford a vehicle which, once something breaks in it, they go bust.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Canuck, 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:17pm

      Typical EV FUD

      Batteries use tiny amounts of lithium.

      The grid has massive amounts of spare power generation capability overnight.

      Battery replacement businesses will pop up if the demand is there.

      Citizenry aren't going to make the switch? Could be difficult as manufacturers abandon ICE. And EV prices are already trending down.

      So much for your FUD.

      And "fossile"? And we should take you seriously?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        OGquaker, 11 Jun 2021 @ 4:08pm

        Re: Typical EV FUD

        I replaced R2D2's batteries with the latest and greatest Gates BC(beer-can) spiral-wrapped gel cells in 1977. I built a factory (The Plant) in 1995 to build all-electric limousines based on the only predictable batteries at the time: 4,300 Lbs. of fork-lift, only sold if you returned 100% of your used batteries to the manufacture. I ran my house on 10-year old recycled 2 volt lead-cadmium 500Ah flooded telecom wetcells for another decade: no power poles in the canyon.
        I burned up 30 pounds of Ni-Cd batteries building remote cameras for Bigfoot. Boeing burned up 787 aircraft with batteries, and the NTSB restricts Li batteries from flying on commercial airliners.
        Batteries are impossible to read, and only time will make a specific chemistry predictable: the Edison Cell (iron-nickle) is 110 years old. It's charge is predictable, so we should STOP IMPROVEMENT ?.
        My city has THOUSANDS of un-caped oil mining wells, the Port of Los Angeles pays Shell to pump millions of gallons of sludge and waste into the ground (since 1960) to keep the land portions from sinking. Fracking is killing our groundwater, Trump approved 12 new LNG EXPORT terminals in the US, we had 1 before.... and it takes 5kwh to make a single gallon of gasoline from the Alberta tarsands to our refineries in Louisiana, think XLpipeline. Thus the Middle East is buying square kilometers of PV. Knuckle-dragging arm-chair experts are fucking themselves, let them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 4:30pm

          Re: Re: Typical EV FUD

          the Port of Los Angeles pays Shell to pump millions of gallons of sludge and waste into the ground (since 1960) to keep the land portions from sinking.

          Do you have a link for this? Sounds like an interesting story.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            OGquaker, 11 Jun 2021 @ 5:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Typical EV FUD

            When the port approved SpaceX leasing the Bethlehem Steel acres of Terminal Island in 2016, lots of history popped up from 50 years ago. Trust the web to be consistently sanitized, this is all I find https://www.lacitysan.org/san/faces/home/portal/s-lsh-sp/s-lsh-sp-tire Every old gas station in the LA basin has or had hundreds of thousands of dollars of ground-water scavenging equipment running for years and years. Los Angeles won a suit (based of an 1830's agreement) against Burbank, Dizny, Glendale, Universal City, et. al. in the 1990's, and pumped a 3foot tall 350ft wide wall of water out of Wilmington, 12 months for many years, cleaning everyone's aquifers. Non-monetised petroleum costs. We have all fallen down a well, and no one understands Lassie

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 6:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical EV FUD

              Well that project started in 2008 so clearly isn't what you were talking about happening since 1960.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                OGquaker, 11 Jun 2021 @ 8:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical lying tree hugger

                My children have no use for anything I say, GOOGLE says........
                Trust the web to be consistently sanitized
                Note the dynamic there, 5 years to move history to the bottom. The past is for chumps: A Queensland, Australia newspaper front-page from 1945 screams out that our firebombing of Tokyo killed 1 or 2 million "Japs" or 51 square miles of the city. Go find the .jpg............ I'll give you time

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 9:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical lying tree hugger

                  I don't know, you might be able to find it here. That isn't much to go on.

                  https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    OGquaker, 15 Jun 2021 @ 10:47pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical lying tree hugger

                    You are right. One or two million dead victims neither blog on the net, nor care. Perps lie. They shipped my father ("All Ships and Stations and Military Installations shall assist this man in completion of his verbal orders") back from N. Africa to Paris (lie) and he spent five months at Culver City Studios designing the firestorm, than back to London to edit German death camp footage for SCOTUS Jackson. Talking to a B-29 navigator in 1973, he was able to confirm the burn design http://www.meetinghouse.tokyo/ I have photos of my father & Lord Mountbatten wandering around the English explosive testing grounds (figuring how to wipe "them" out like a good soldier?), and Pop got a Legion of Merit for this. Sorry the past conflicts with ROI.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    OGquaker, 15 Jun 2021 @ 11:09pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical lying tree hugger

                    You wasted 030.00 minutes on the past? Wow.
                    Since the basis of this Techdirt article is some guy named "Churchill", i give you a direct quote: For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself. And Truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2021 @ 4:02am

      Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

      Fucking seriously, those goddamned zombie lie about lithium? It is blatant projection of fossil fuel issues and works from a runs on pixie dust and fairy farts assumptions about all existing industry that wasn't even true when it was done in cottages. The question isn't "will it interfere with some imaginary arcadia which never was" but "is it better than the current situation"?

      The complaints about grid limits are laughable - we already have a solution for that it is called your electricity bill. They start construction in response to demand growth and issue bonds/take loans to pay for it over time, their max profit margin is already defined by regulations due to their monopolies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jun 2021 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: Electromobility isn't that easy after all.

        "The question isn't "will it interfere with some imaginary arcadia which never was" but "is it better than the current situation"? "

        And the point is, that's dubious. Really. Short term we're going to have to get rid of fossil fuels. Full stop.
        Long term we're looking at an extraction type which makes fracking look pretty nice in comparison.

        It's a similar issue as the one we have with wind and water; long term they're great at "paying" for the carbon footprint of their manufacture, but short-term manufacturing the bloody things carry a carbon footprint in itself.

        If what we're looking for is real, immediate mitigation of global warming then we're at the point right now where we've dragged our feet for so long on switching that the only realistic way of putting the brakes on the earth warming up is to either switch off every industry unable to curb it's pollution and ban every car without a carbon trap...or find a way to magically trap fairly staggering amounts of greenhouse gas in short order.

        "The complaints about grid limits are laughable - we already have a solution for that it is called your electricity bill."

        If that worked then you could similarly have curbed CO2 expenditure by just raising gas taxes. But we all know how that goes. The price of a utility goes over a certain point and then suddenly there's a new politician who got elected on a platform of lowering utility pricing and the whole idea falls flat.

        "They start construction in response to demand growth and issue bonds/take loans to pay for it over time."

        That's not really how it works. Construction starts when there's a profit motive or when sufficient government money is invested. And unfortunately even in diehard "Green" countries politics take a lamentably short view of things which in some places stalls the switch completely. Bavaria in germany stands out with south germany almost not building a single watt worth of wind power in the last few years.

        Which means cheap electricity in europe is more often than not obtained by energy from...coal and gas power plants from the old east bloc. In the US I probably don't need to tell you where the profit motive is. Coal and gas are, bluntly put, cheap.

        Going off fossils is an uphill struggle and the last thing we need is to sit back and say "Oh, we fixed it". We haven't. EV's aren't going to make a significant impact. Not at this point in time. That window of opportunity closed twenty years ago.

        If people had taken this shit seriously back in the 80's then we'd have gotten it done. Today it's all too little, too late.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 4:35am

    If you're feeling FUD, read more.

    I know you can't repost the whole article here, but there are quite a few bits of info in it that make the used EV situation seem less dire. If you're interested in buying a used EV, head over and read the whole thing. And don't buy a used Leaf.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    EGF Tech Man (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 6:59am

    Batter "odometer"

    Maybe there should be a non-resetable dual register KWh meter on the batteries showing total KWh in and out of the batteries so one gets an idea of how many charge/discharge cycles they have been through.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ceyarrecks (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 7:01am

    Verification Already Available?

    note, my idea/suggestion comes with complete ignorance of automotive use of Li-ION; However, as the technology is basically that same as exists in electronic devices, and I personally know that (at least) Ubuntu can read said Li-ION batteries to display: Design(Wh) and Full(Wh) which show if the Full is dramatically lower than Design, the battery has obviously dead cells, which equate to the reduced duration(Full). This obliquely shows how well the battery was taken care on the past, i.e. how many times it was allowed to drain completely DEAD.
    Why can not this technique be applied to the Li-ION in vehicles, regardless of their size, to read the longevity of their batteries?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 8:14am

      Re: Verification Already Available?

      This is, in fact, exactly what they do.

      What this article is disucssing is 1) that many manufacturers are hiding that information within the software where the customer cannot access it, and 2) that other manufacturers allow users to start a new calibration process on that measurement without any external sign that said process is ongoing (which results in the "full" value being erroneously high until a few use/charge cycles have been completed).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:20pm

    Everybody knows anything you buy used is at best going to have a half-dead battery. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the manufacturers are intentionally hiding the battery health information so as not to remind buyers that the car's resale value drops with every charge cycle.

    With the way the electric car trend has been going on, things are going to hit the fan hard when those battery packs start failing and people realize the replacement costs more than the car is worth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    OGquaker, 11 Jun 2021 @ 6:47pm

    A 4,000 pound 400 volt autonomous robot will kill you

    Tesla is recycling their used or lesser 18650 & 21700 cells into the PV "Powerwall". A car pack, with 3-4 thousand cells, fails when a few fail, a good mechanic will JUST replace the few dead cells in your Prius and you're good-to-go. Tesla is replacing their chemistry soon with 4860 cells which will allow the cars to be much stiffer, as they will be structural, not just in a box. This may limit 3ed party recycling or repair, but who knows. The license plates on the cars that took the Astronauts to the ISS last month were "REUSE" & "RECYCLE". GM, Ford, Fiat, VW have a choice now: They used to sell you 1930's answers to 2020 problems, now it's lead, follow, or shut the fuck up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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