Your EV’s future trade-in value may depend on this one battery metric


Odometers have deeper roots in the auto industry than many drivers appreciate. In addition to tracking how far a vehicle has traveled, they have also been the guide post for current value and future life expectancy. 

For electric cars, the battery is more important than its odometer. With up to a third of the cost all in that one component, your car is, in some ways, worth as much as its battery, and odometer is no longer a leading indicator of battery health. 

A new EV battery metric and valuation tool from Recurrent is changing the way used cars are bought and sold. 

Range Score: a simple metric for used EV values

Recurrent’s new Range Score is a simple metric (from 0 – 100+) to compare any vehicle’s current range to what was expected when new for that make, model, and battery configuration. For example, a 94 means that an individual car has a current max range that is 94% of its original range, which often varies from its EPA rating. 

EPA range is rarely accurate because it doesn’t account for changes over time or adjustments by the carmakers themselves. Instead, original range is the expected range as observed by Recurrent when new, after well over 100 million recorded miles across EV makes, models and years.

While simple on the surface, millions of real-world data points go into each Range Score. Recurrent provides free battery monitoring for over 10,000 EV owners in the US. Each vehicle battery is checked several times per day through onboard telematics with the permission of the driver. It’s designed to be all over-the-air without clunky devices that infringe on leg room or privacy. Streaming battery insights over the weeks and months allows Recurrent to draw conclusions about an individual vehicle’s current range, how that range will fluctuate in different conditions, and how it compares to hundreds or thousands of similar vehicles. 

The sophistication of these data models means that Recurrent often does not need to study an individual car for months to generate a range estimate or score for many of the electric cars that frequent the used market today. After entering several vehicle-specific data points, EV owners in the US can check their Range Score in 2 minutes for a Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y.

Good batteries lead to higher sale prices

If an EV is as good as its battery, then good batteries deserve higher resale values, and that is proving to be true. A leading US wholesaler found that EVs with Range Scores from Recurrent are “seeing $4,000 to $7,000 increases” in sale price due to battery transparency. 

This creates an opportunity for EV owners to increase the trade-in value of their car based on its battery. After using Recurrent’s free tool to check their EV’s vehicle valuation, Range Score and recommended battery premium, owners who are thinking about selling soon – say their pre-order for the latest and greatest EV is finally ready for delivery – can shop offers through Recurrent or use their battery-specific valuation to get a better price elsewhere. Whether selling to a dealership or private-party buyer, this metric may prove to be far more important than its odometer.

For owners who are not ready to sell anytime soon, they can start tracking their battery’s performance with the free EV Owner Insights, so when ready, they will have a valuable third-party verification of the battery’s history and condition.

A reminder to all of our Canadian and EU/UK readers: Recurrent is only available for EV owners and sellers in the US, but they’ve promised us they’re working on it.

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