Cox Automotive is piloting a new EV battery health tool at 10 Manheim locations.  -  Photo: Cox Auotmotive

Cox Automotive is piloting a new EV battery health tool at 10 Manheim locations.

Photo: Cox Auotmotive

As fleets transition to the future of electrification, it’s important to understand all aspects that come along with it.

The focus will understandably be on the best way to lower emissions and meet zero-emissions goals, but companies must also feel confident in the electric vehicle battery itself to reach those marks. 

Cox Automotive discussed how its new tool supports electric vehicle adoption, while also increasing buyer confidence so fleets understand battery health and how it plays a role in the total cost of ownership.

The company announced the next phase of its approach to EV Battery Health scoring and diagnostics with its VIN-specific battery grading system. 

The pilot of Cox Automotive’s EV Battery Health mobile app and Bluetooth dongle will launch at 10 Manheim locations across the U.S. – Pennsylvania, Southern California, San Francisco, Riverside, Nevada, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, Nashville, and Portland.

“This mobile app connects to the bluetooth dongle that's connected,” Stephanie Valdez-Streaty said. “So that's a Bluetooth hardware piece that's connected to the vehicle, and it extracts the data from the battery. It then feeds it into our proprietary algorithm and creates a score from one to five.”

Keeping Score  

Cox Automotive’s mobile Battery Health tool directly evaluates each car and provides VIN-specific information. The tool measures current battery condition, historical battery data (times, temperatures, and types of charges), and performance. The company’s health algorithm then produces a VIN-specific battery score ranging from 1-5. That score, along with information on the battery’s current estimated range will be included in the EV Battery Health Report. 

Cox Automotive’s Battery Health score addresses three of the top five barriers to EV adoption among non-considerers, including consumers’ concerns about low mileage range (40%), the cost of battery replacements (35%), and batteries not holding their charge (30%).

“To meet the future growth of EVs at our Manheim locations, we have been investing in an infrastructure to service and support our clients’ future EV battery needs,” said Grace Huang, president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions. “Creating a trusted battery health score supports our efforts to build an industry standard for battery health while delivering the type of vehicle information clients require.” 

Cox Automotive’s current data sample of battery health metrics collected from Manheim, which includes more than 1,200 vehicle tests, confirmed the following: 

The average used battery health score reported was high, with an average score of 4.6. However, as batteries age, the number of outliers increases, highlighting the importance of evaluating each vehicle.  

The average vehicle sales price increased by 1-4% (or 2.4% on average) when earning a higher battery health score. 

There was an inconsistent correlation between a battery health score and mileage on the vehicle’s odometer.  

Going Worldwide

With more than 28 million used battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles scheduled to enter the U.S. by 2030, Cox Automotive said it will power the electric marketplace. 

“The battery pack is the single most expensive part of an EV, accounting for 30-40% of the total cost of the vehicle,” said Lea Malloy, AVP of EV Battery Solutions, Cox Automotive Mobility. “With the anticipated influx of used EVs entering the market, our battery health score will help create confidence and transparency at the point of sale.” 

The company said EVs are going to be critical to providing a price point for mass adoption.

“It’s important to create trust and transparency in the marketplace,” Valdez-Streaty said.”When having to buy that used EV, no matter what price point, you want to feel confident the battery health is good.”

Valdez-Streaty said the company understands that 65% of the market share is Teslas, but it is not currently testing with Teslas.

Cox Automotive also addressed how fleets can get to a point of recycling batteries.

“It's going to be important that we can optimize the first life on the battery to have a second life,” Valdez-Streaty said. “Then, it will be important to responsibly recycle it and minimize mining.”

About the author
Louis Prejean

Louis Prejean

Assistant Editor

Assistant editor Louis Prejean works on Metro Magazine and Automotive Fleet. The Louisiana native is now covering the fleet industry after years of radio and reporting experience.

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