The Silent Killer: How Battery Degradation Can Decrease Your EV's Resale Value + Tips

We have studied all the influencing factors, from charging habits to driving style, in order to give you the best guide

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more and more prevalent on the roads, it's important for buyers and sellers alike to understand the impact that battery degradation can have on a used EV's resale value. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what causes battery degradation, how it affects resale value, and what you can do to mitigate its impact.

Causes of an EV Battery Degradation

Here are several factors that can contribute to battery degradation:

  • Regularly charging the battery from 0% (or using it until it is fully depleted): Every time the battery is charged and discharged, it goes through a cycle, and over time, this can cause the battery's capacity to decrease. Charging the battery from 0% or using it until it's fully depleted will use up more cycles than charging it when it still has some charge left. Also, charging the battery from 0% exposes it to a higher voltage, which can cause the battery to heat up and increase the risk of short circuits.
  • Prolonged exposition to high temperatures: High temperatures can cause the electrolyte inside the battery to evaporate, damaging the internal structure and reducing capacity over time. Also, high temperatures can cause the internal resistance to rise, leading to overheating and further damage. It is then better to keep the vehicle in a cool, well-ventilated area and avoid leaving it in direct sunlight.
  • Cold temperatures can also affect the battery's performance: they can cause the internal resistance to rise, which can generate heat and cause damage to the battery. In some cases, the battery management system may even shut down to protect the battery from damage, leading to power loss and difficulty starting the vehicle. And if the battery is stored in very cold temperatures for an extended period, it can lose its charge more quickly, shortening its lifespan
  • Fast-charging too often: the high-speed charge causes the battery to heat up more, which can cause internal damage. Plus, overusing fast charging can increase the internal resistance of the battery, leading to overheating.
  • Storing the EV at a wrong state-of-charge: keeping your car for an extended period with an empty or full battery can harm its performance and lifespan. It's recommended to use a timed charger and keep the battery charge level between 40-60%. This way, it maintains a healthy state of charge without being overworked.
  • Driving habits: The way in which a car is driven also plays a role in the impact of use on an electric car's battery. Hard acceleration, high speeds, and frequent braking can all cause the battery to degrade faster.

EV Battery’s Condition Effects on Resale Value

The condition and performance of an EV's battery can have a significant impact on its resale value. A used electric vehicle with a battery that has degraded significantly will be worth less than one with a battery that is in good condition. This is because a used car with a degraded battery will have a shorter range and take longer to charge than one with a battery in good condition. Additionally, buyers may be hesitant to purchase a used electric car with a degraded battery, as they may be uncertain about how long the battery will last and whether they will need to replace it soon after purchasing the vehicle.

yellow multimeter on a dark background

How to Check your EV Battery's Health

As a seller, one of the best ways to ensure that your used EV has a good resale value is to regularly check the battery's health. Even if a mechanic would be most suited to help you define the quality of your battery, there are still several ways to do this yourself, including:

  • Checking the battery's state of charge (SOC) using the car's onboard computer. The SOC indicates the current charge level of the battery — you can monitor it to have an idea of its overall health. One good way to do it is to charge it to maximum and drive rather slowly until it is fully discharged. Then, compare the distance you would have been able to cover with the normal range of your EV. The difference should give you an estimate of your battery’s health.
  • Using a battery diagnostic tool to measure the battery's capacity and performance. At home, you can use a multimeter as a quick way to find if your battery is operational. With your car unpluged, set the voltmeter to 20DC volts and check if the reading falls between 12V and 14V. Anything lower than 10V would be a good reason to require servicing.Alternatively, you can bring your car to a mechanic who will perform a Load Test, more complete than a Voltage test, or even run a comprehensive battery health test if your car permits it. This can provide detailed information about the battery's health, including the number of charge and discharge cycles it has gone through, its current capacity, and whether there are any ongoing issue.
  • Trying out Cardino’s battery checker tool to easily find out the estimated battery health of your electric car. Our in-house algorithm is based on our expertise and data to precisely determine your SoH from your car model, options and mileage. It’s free and only takes a few clicks! Available soon.

By regularly checking the battery's health, you can identify potential issues early and take steps to address them. This can thus help to ensure that your EV has a good resale value and that buyers will be more likely to be interested in purchasing it!

Ways to Mitigate the Degradation of Your EV Battery

There are several ways to mitigate the impact of battery degradation on EV resale value. Here are a few ideas that can help you out:

  • Limiting the number of charge and discharge cycles: One way to extend the life of the EV battery is to limit these. This can be achieved by using a level 2 charger at home instead of fast charging the EV. Indeed, it usually causes more wear and tear on the battery and degrade its performance.
  • Using a battery management system (BMS): A BMS, or battery management system, is a system that is used to monitor, to protect, and to control the energy input and consumption of a battery, preventing overcharging and discharging. A BMS is, all in all, responsible for ensuring that the battery is operating within safe parameters (temperature, voltage, and current), which misusage can lead to damage or reduced performance. A BMS can optimize usage of the battery to extend its life. It can also monitor the battery's health and alert the user to any potential issues. By using a BMS, the battery's life can be extended by up to 30%.
  • Regular checkups with a mechanic: this is crucial for ensuring its overall health and avoiding costly problems down the road. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to serious battery issues, which can impact the performance and lifespan of your car. Be sure to do that with a professional mechanic who has experience with EVs. They will be able to identify any potential issues early on and address them before they turn into bigger problems. By doing so, you'll not only extend the life of your battery, but you'll also maintain the performance of your vehicle and avoid any costly repairs in the future. Don't take the health of your EV for granted. Regular checkups are an investment in its longevity and performance.
  • Using the recommended charging cable and charger: using an incompatible one can cause serious damage to the battery and decrease its performance. For example, choosing one with the wrong voltage or amperage can damage the battery cells and reduce their capacity. To ensure that you are using the right equipment, it's crucial to consult the owner's manual for your vehicle. This will provide you with detailed information on the recommended charging cable and charger for your EV. Additionally, you should always look for equipment that is certified by the manufacturer, as this is a good indication that it is safe to use. All in one, always use the recommended charging cable and charger to ensure the battery's longevity.
  • Battery warranty: A warranty can provide peace of mind for both parties, as it can cover the cost of replacement if the battery fails before the warranty period expires. This means that buyers can have confidence that they won't be stuck with a costly battery replacement if something goes wrong, and sellers can have confidence that they won't be held responsible for any issues that may arise after the sale. When selling your EV, it's important to check the warranty on the battery. This will give you an idea of how long the battery is covered for, and what the terms of the warranty are — it can also give you an extra selling point to add value to your vehicle. Keep in mind that some warranties may be transferable, while others may not. It's also worth noting that some EV manufacturers may offer extended warranties on their batteries, which can provide added protection for buyers. As these extension can be implemented after you bought your car, consider going through their website or contacting them to know about it.
  • Battery technology: Not all EV batteries are created equal. Some EV models have better battery technology that can withstand more charge and discharge cycles, or can handle higher temperatures. When purchasing a used EV, it's worth researching the battery technology and comparing it to other models, as well as considering one's usage and the place they live in. This can help to select an EV with a battery that is best suited for their needs.

In conclusion, there are several ways to mitigate the impact of battery degradation on an electric car’s resale value. By limiting the number of charge and discharge cycles, using a BMS, regular checkups with the dealer, using the recommended charging cable and charger, considering the battery warranty, and researching the battery technology, the life and performance of the EV battery can be extended. This can help to maintain the EV's resale value and provide peace of mind for both buyers and sellers.

If you want to go more in-depth on how to take good care of an EV battery, read our article here.

White tesla charging with a blue cable


In conclusion, battery degradation can significantly impact the resale value of an electric vehicle. The factors that contribute to battery degradation, such as charging habits, temperature, fast-charging, and driving habits, can all reduce the battery's capacity over time. This results in a used EV with a degraded battery having a shorter range and longer charging time, which can make it less desirable to potential buyers. As such, to ensure a good resale value, it's important for sellers to regularly check the battery's health and address any potential issues early. Thankfully, here are several ways to do this, including checking the state of charge, using a battery diagnostic tool, or using Cardino's battery checker tool. All in all, by taking steps to mitigate the impact of battery degradation, you can ensure that your used EV has a good resale value and is more appealing to potential buyers!

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