August 7, 2019

UNEXPECTEDLY: Automakers Need to Start Worrying About the Batteries Lurking in Older EVs. “A number of electric vehicles in the United States are about to celebrate their 10th birthday. A bunch of them are Nissan Leafs, the first mainstream BEV made widely available in the U.S. market.”

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“A refurb program is needed to help owners who were affected by Gen 1 vehicles,” Kan-ade said. “I believe that these early battery failures are part of a learning curve that was passed on to the consumer. Nissan offered a battery replacement program for $5,500, but unfortunately they quietly raised the price to $8,500.”

Despite Nissan being among the first automakers to confront these issues, it is not the only one that has to confront them. Other automakers are facing similar problems stemming from hybrid cars, and we’re just a few years away from a glut of all-electric Teslas coping with an identical plight — followed swiftly by every other automaker that decided to build BEVs at scale.

Among the biggest concerns is resale value. With no refurb solution, owners will essentially be forced to throw a car onto the secondhand market needing thousands in repairs. Sure, they could foot the bill themselves, but why bother replacing the most expensive component in your vehicle just to sell it? Likewise, why would the average used-car buyer choose to spend the cash when they’re already in search of a bargain?

These are questions a lot of us have been asking for a long time, because once battery capacity is diminished far enough, what’s left of an EV is basically disposable.

My modest proposal: A recycling fee in excess of whatever tax incentives EV owners might have received.

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