Government considers new electric vehicle battery degradation laws

The UK Government is working with international partners to develop new laws for monitoring the health of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The plans to make the fitting of battery state of health (SOH) monitors compulsory on all new EVs were discussed at last week’s meeting of the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).

Abdul Chowdhury, head of vehicle policy at the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), explained that because the battery forms a large part of a used EV’s value and performance, providing information on its health would support consumers in making informed comparisons between vehicles and help alleviate concerns over battery degradation.

He said: “The UK government has been working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and other international partners to develop technical regulations on SOH monitors and minimum battery performance standards and is currently analysing options for adopting these regulations into UK law.

“The EU is also considering options, and its Euro 7 proposals look set to bring SOH monitors in from July 2025.”

A battery state of health (SOH) is an estimate of a battery’s remaining total capacity, compared to the total capacity at the EV’s production.

The Global Technical Regulations on EV batteries developed at UNECE, where many international automotive standards and regulations are set, cover two key aspects.

The first is to mandate installation of SOH monitors on EVs which must be accessible to the consumer, meet accuracy requirements and be validated through in-service testing.

The second is to set a minimum performance standard of 80% SOH from 0-5 years old or 100,000km, whichever comes first, and 70% SOH for vehicles between 5-8 years old or 100,000 to 160,000km, whichever comes first.

Other areas where OZEV was looking to provide support to the used EV sector included providing standardised EV information to customers at the point of sale and helping to ensure that sufficient numbers of technicians were trained to repair EVs.

Chowdhury continued: “The used market is critical to the UK’s transition to zero emission vehicles and meeting our net zero ambitions.

“It is where 80% of all cars are bought and sold, and as we move from early EV adopters to a mass transition, its health is critical to ensuring a fair and equitable transition for all.”

Government support has included financial incentives to stimulate the new EV market and increase the supply of vehicles feeding through to the used market.

Funding for charge point infrastructure at homes, workplaces, residential streets and across the wider roads network is also supporting consumers to buy used EVs, added Chowdhury.

The potential for legislation around battery monitoring comes as an advisory group of battery experts is being assembled to explore ways of promoting greater confidence in the used EV market.

Organised by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the half-day event – Battery health: supercharge your knowledge – will take place on May 16

At the VRA event, members heard that there are no Government plans for direct financial support for used EV purchases. However, it says that all policy options are continually under review and OZEV closely monitor the health of the used market and are always open to receiving any evidence.

“Used EVs continue to be among the most-discussed topics in remarketing and being able to hear directly from someone such as Abdul at the centre of Government thinking was fascinating and provided a high level of insight for VRA members,” said VRA chair Philip Nothard.

The event also featured a panel discussion on the used EV market and used vehicle supply in general featuring Phill Jones, chief operating officer at eBay Motors Group; Greg Smith, commercial director at Carshop Supermarket; and Michael Tomalin, CEO at both City Auctions Group and PurpleRock.

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