‘Electric car has considerably longer life expectancy’
Electric cars tend to be a fairly safe purchase choice. Not only do they have a considerably longer life expectancy than initially thought, but the residual value on the resale is significant as well. And maintenance costs are not too high. Besides, the most expensive component, the battery, turns out to be very solid.
“With the first-generation EVs, the battery still had to be replaced during the life cycle of the car. This is no longer the case,” says Joeri Van Mierlo, professor of electromobility at the VUB.
“Today, you have cars with a range of up to 400 kilometers and a battery that can easily be recharged a thousand times. That amounts to 400 000 kilometers,” Van Mierlo adds. He also points out that the wear and tear on the electric motor and the battery are minimal because an electric motor has less friction than an internal combustion engine.
Nevertheless, an EV is by no means maintenance-free. Service experts say that EVs have other points of attention. For example, air conditioning is heavily stressed because it cools the interior and heats the interior. Moreover, this system is a crucial safety system because it is also responsible for cooling the battery during (quick) charging.
Furthermore, the transmission (gear reducer and drive shafts) is much more likely to fail because of the considerable instant torque. Tires wear out faster for the same reasons, and shock absorbers have to be replaced sooner because of the heavier weight.
Manufacturers also offer a fair warranty on their batteries. “VW gives customers the guarantee that after eight years of use, the battery will still perform above 70% of its capacity,” says Jean-Marc Ponteville, spokesman for VW importer D’Ieteren. So it seems that the driver of an e-car should have little to worry about his silent car’s life.
And that, in turn, has a positive impact on its resale value. According to Vincent Van den Bossche of leasing company Arval, electric cars’ residual value is in line with a classic car with a combustion engine.
“We are inspired by the Netherlands. There they already have experience with electric cars that are often traded in with a lot of kilometers. They still appear to be able to cope well afterward in second life, so there is little value loss,” Van den Bossche adds.
Legislation is crucial
In addition to that technical aspect, the legislation also plays an important role in pricing. As older cars are no longer allowed to enter low-emission zones, their resale value is plummeting. Electric cars are a safe bet in this respect.
“As standards move toward zero emissions, the residual value of ICE cars will drop faster. That’s why electric cars are the motorization of the future,” Ponteville concludes.