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Drivers still worried about EV battery life

Concerns about the lifespan of second-hand EV batteries could still be a factor holding back sales of used EVs1, new research by AA Cars, the used car website, has found.

An poll of 12,200 drivers found that nearly half (45%) are worried about battery lifespan, while 44% doubt their ability to check if a used electric car is mechanically sound. AA Cars believe these fears, whilst understandable, are probably unfounded according to research*. There are also numerous examples of older EVs with 100k plus miles on the clock on the AA Cars website where the batteries are still going strong.

A further third (33%) of drivers worry that second-hand EVs will have a lower range than brand new models.

EVs represent 15.6% of sales in the new car market, but limited stock means they currently account for only 1.8% of used car sales3. However, take-up of used EVs should grow as more models come onto the second-hand market; the AA Cars research found that nearly a fifth of drivers feel ready to buy a used EV now (7%) or within the next two years (11%).

Although there are some barriers to EV uptake, the Government’s ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035 means that they are here to stay and this should be a growth area for used car dealers.

Nearly half of drivers say receiving practical advice from a dealer would make the process of buying a greener car easier4. This illustrates the importance people place on dealers’ ability to speak knowledgeably about EVs and offer clear, practical guidance to their customers.

AA Cars’ research suggests that dealers should be focusing their advice on batteries, and could also benefit from providing vehicle inspection reports which show their cars have been independently tested and are mechanically sound.

To help dealers navigate the EV landscape, AA Cars has launched its Dealer’s Guide to Electric Vehicles to help them offer customers the advice they need most when purchasing greener cars.

Mark Oakley, Director of AA Cars, said: “Drivers have embraced the EV revolution, and take-up of brand new electric cars is rocketing — but sales of used EVs remain low when compared to new cars.

“While used EV sales are constrained by lower stock levels, our research suggests buyer concerns about batteries and range could still be a limiting factor too. As more second-hand EVs come to market, dealers must step up to help drivers with their used car-buying experience by offering advice on the issues that matter most to them.

“Selling EVs that have been independently inspected is another way to offer drivers reassurance about the condition of the used car they are considering. Above all, dealers must ensure all sales staff have the knowledge to talk confidently about EV charging, range and depreciation if they wish to capitalise on the rising demand for greener vehicles.”

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