In an electric car, the engine is neither the most expensive nor the most sensitive component. The centerpiece is the traction battery. Not content with being worth several thousand euros, it also tends to deteriorate over time. Autonomy will therefore be reduced after a few years. To make matters worse, there is nothing linear about this deterioration. In particular, it can be accelerated by the number of quick recharges performed, negative temperatures or even intensive use. Refueling 100% too often is also not recommended, except for the rare lithium-iron-phosphate accumulators like the one in the Tesla Model 3 propulsion, and full discharges should be avoided. Finally, some models seem to experience a faster loss of capacity than others.
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Manufacturers still cautious
Knowing the state of health of the battery (called “State of Health” or SOH in English) is therefore valuable for any buyer of a used electric vehicle. This lets you know what radius of action you can expect and negotiate the price accordingly in case of advanced degradation while the warranty is in progress. But the information is also important for current owners. Especially since the warranty provides for a possible replacement of this part if its capacity drops below a certain percentage, often set at 70%. Aware of the challenge, the European Union plans to review its legislation by 2024 to simplify consumer access to this data. Unfortunately, today nothing compels a manufacturer to report this health status to you. Only a few of them, like Peugeot, have committed to doing so directly on their commercial website… although there is no indication that they do so systematically. It’s best to ask your mechanic to give you this “certificate of capability” when you take your e-208, your e-2008, or your e-Rifter in for service, hoping he doesn’t contact you.
Integrated into the My Renault app
Based on their long experience with Zoe, Renault also tends to provide this information quite easily. But recently, by its subsidiary Mobilize focused on new forms of mobility, Losange also offers a solution that avoids the need to go to the garage. Your My Renault application allows you to generate a battery certificate based on data from the Battery Management System (BMS), the management system for this accumulator. In addition to the famous SOH, the document thus obtained mentions the mileage of the accumulator, that of the vehicle, as well as the possible existence of a battery rental contract. For now, the service is only available on Zoe, Kangoo and Twingo. Later, Mégane E-Tech and Dacia Spring should be added. Please note that if this new feature was initially announced as free, you will eventually be charged 49 €. Therefore, it is best to use it only if you have noticed a significant reduction in range or if you are planning a next sale of your vehicle. Especially since the certificate thus obtained is only valid for three months.
The certificate The beautiful battery becomes Moba
Forty-nine euros is also the minimum amount requested by the French company Moba, created just over two years ago under the name of “La belle battery”. In this case, however, it will be necessary to add the shipping costs of the box, which must be connected to the OBD socket of your vehicle to carry out a diagnosis, then returned in an envelope already stamped. Only after you have received it will you receive your certificate. The procedure is therefore longer and less simple than at Renault. On the other hand, it can be applied to about thirty of the most popular models on the market, from the BMW i3 to the Volkswagen e-up!, ID.3 and ID.4, passing through the Kia-Hyundai, MG, Tesla and many more.
More or less simple alternative solutions
The Austrian company Aviloo operates in the same niche and has just signed a partnership with the powerful German automotive club ADAC. But their prices are a little higher, at €99 excluding promotions, and the very incomplete French translation of their website may hold more than one. Finally, smartphone apps like Car Scanner, A better route planner (often abbreviated as ABRP) or Power Cruise Control also offer retrieval of this information by connecting an adapter to the OBD socket. With the advantage, in this case, of allowing easy reuse, even in several vehicles. Power Cruise Control even offers a certificate of English proficiency. The other side of the coin is that using this type of solution is not always necessarily intuitive.
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