Battery Health Reports Coming for That Used Electric Car You’re Considering

Residual values for many electric vehicles drop at an alarming rate compared to those of traditional internal-combustion vehicles. There are a number of reasons for this, including lower overall supply, fewer people looking to buy an EV instead of ICE models, and a fair amount of uncertainty about just how long the battery will last.

For the EV hesitant, there’s reason to look into Recurrent, the Seattle-based company that offers its own independent battery life reports for used EVs that provide detailed information on the EV a customer may be thinking about buying. As others have said, because it’s an easy way to understand what Recurrent offers, the service is like a Carfax report for EV batteries, giving buyers and sellers a verified way to know the shape a three-year-old Nissan Leaf battery, for example, is in. In September, Recurrent CEO Scott Case told Car and Driver that battery health is “the new odometer for electric cars.”

After announcing itself to the world last June, Recurrent raised $3.5 million in seed financing in December for its independent verification technology. The funding round included a number of venture capital firms as well as the Washington chapter of the American Automobile Association (AAA). This week, according to Green Car Reports, AAA Washington and Recurrent announced a new partnership in a pilot project that remotely monitors the battery health of subscribers’ EVs and then compares them to the live of batteries in similar vehicles.

People who sign up for the (for now) invite-only program will then get an alert if Recurrent determines their pack shows signs of “unusual wear and tear.” Participants also get tips on ways to keep their battery in top shape so that, when the time comes to sell, the EV will be able to command a premium compared to non-Recurrent EVs, Case wrote on the Recurrent company blog. Questions about battery health can block used-EV sales, which then “holds up the entire market in this really critical way,” Case told GCR.

Thanks to a partnership with Smartcar, which provides end-to-end 256-bit encryption, Recurrent’s algorithm downloads four data points from registered EVs up to three times a day: charging status, battery level, odometer, and the car computer’s own range estimate. Most modern EVs are eligible to participate, as long as the current owner or lessee has an active account with an automaker’s connected vehicle service (for instance, NissanConnect EV or FordPass). So far, just over 2600 drivers with 18 different makes and models have volunteered to have their electric vehicles added to Recurrent’s program and more drivers are getting their invites in mid-January.

From: Car and Driver

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