Dealership

FAQ About EV Batteries Your Team Should Know

Post by
Andrew Lemoine
FAQ About EV Batteries Your Team Should Know

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are on the rise in Canada and we're seeing more and more manufacturers put a focus on releasing new electric vehicle models. One of the most common questions consumers have about buying an EV is regarding electric vehicle batteries. EV batteries, as opposed to conventional car batteries, are made to store and discharge enormous amounts of electricity. This is required for an EV to operate properly. Additionally, EV batteries are made to last longer than conventional car batteries. An electric vehicle battery can endure for many years with good care and maintenance without requiring significant upkeep or replacement. Few Canadians however, are fully aware of how EV batteries operate, which has remained a hurdle to EV adoption in the automotive retail space. In order for dealers to be ready to respond to common EV battery questions, we will address a few of the most often-asked topics

Question 1: What Types of EV Batteries Are Available?

Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used batteries in electric vehicles. They have a high energy density which essentially means they can store a ton of energy in a small amount of space. Another perk to these batteries is they can last a long time without losing any performance. The downside to lithium-ion batteries is they are expensive to manufacture and if they aren’t used correctly they can overheat. 

Lead-Acid Batteries

When electric vehicles first started being produced, most of them were powered by lead-acid batteries. While some EVs still use lead acid batteries today, they have low energy density meaning they can’t store a ton of energy. They are relatively cheap to produce but they tend to deteriorate quickly and require more regular maintenance. 

Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries

While these batteries were once commonly used in electric vehicles, as of the last few years they have been mostly replaced by lithium-ion batteries. They have a medium energy density and can last a few years without losing any significant performance. They aren’t nearly as efficient as lithium-ion batteries and can be fairly expensive to produce.  

Ultracapacitors

Ultracapacitors are a new type of battery that is quickly gaining popularity in the electric vehicle market. They have an extremely high energy density and can be used for a long period of time without losing any performance. They are extremely efficient batteries and can be used for a long time before ever needing to be replaced. 

Question 2: How Long Do EV Batteries Last?

There are many factors that contribute to how long an electric car battery will last. The battery's make, model, age, how it’s used and how it’s maintained are the most significant factors. On average, electric batteries last about 7-10 years. There are however some batteries that can last upwards of 15 years or more.

Keep the EV battery fully charged and use it frequently to extend its lifespan. Don't let the battery run entirely flat. Replace your battery as soon as possible if it starts to show indications of deterioration, such as decreased performance or capacity. Additionally, you need to thoroughly clean and maintain the connectors and battery casing.

As with any other vehicle part that needs routine inspection and repair, your service team should be able to provide customers with all the essential advice during service appointments and will be knowledgeable about how to maintain EV batteries. Remind your customer that your technicians are qualified to maintain all parts of their vehicle, including any electric ones if they are concerned about battery maintenance.

Question 3: How Are EV Batteries Disposed of?

There are three main ways that EV batteries are disposed of.

  1. Pyrometallurgy. Also known as smelting, this means heating the battery until it melts and can be poured out. Metals from used batteries and other items are frequently recycled using this method.
  1. Hydrometallurgy. This is a process that uses water to break down a substance. This enables the ability to recycle batteries made of lead, copper, and other metals. The water can then be drained of the dissolved metals and recycled. 
  1. Recycling. Oftentimes, the best way to dispose of EV batteries to simply break them down into single components and recycle them for use again. 

A Few Tips to Sell More Electric Vehicles at Your Dealership

If you’re looking to start selling more hybrid and fully electric vehicles at your dealership, here are a few tips that may help you convince customers who are on the fence about buying an EV. 

  • Dedicate a page on your website to common EV FAQs. Make sure it’s easy to find and consider printing a pamphlet with the same information to hand out to customers browsing at your dealership. 
  • Make sure every person on your sales team can answer these FAQs with confidence
  • Look into what rebates are available in your province and promote them to increase interest. The potential savings could be significant enough to be a decision-changing factor. 
  • Assure your customers that both your sales and service team will always be available to answer any questions about electric vehicles
  • Get your team familiar with the environmental benefits of using electric vehicles

In Closing…

Even though EV batteries are more costly, they have many advantages that make the cost justifiable. Because of this, many hybrid and completely electric cars have higher beginning expenses, but over time, the costs of maintaining the car drop significantly. Customers who invest in the purchase of an electric car can profit greatly from them, including long-term savings and environmental benefits. The majority of Canadian provinces also offer great rebates for anyone who purchases an electric vehicle.

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