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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently in a taxi (very nice high spec Merc) and the discussion with the taxi driver somehow got around to electric cars and (per the driver) of course the batteries won't last and you will be putting the car into a skip in 3 or 4 years. I tried to explain about manufacturer 8 yr guarantees /SOH etc etc. but he was not going to change his mind - so I gave up. It got me thinking - how much do we know about the ID3 62kWh battery anyway. Here are some of the questions I have........
1. Who supplies the VW battery is it Panasonic or someone else?
2. I believe VW are bringing battery manuf. in house - has this happened already?
3. How much does the battery cost - I have seen that it could be as much as 30% of the car cost >12k?
4. What is the weight and make up of battery - I think I read somewhere that it has 26 modules/216 cells - is that true?
5. Given cost/scarcity of materials it seems to me vital that batteries can be refurbished as they get old - 8 yrs+ Sub questions to this are.......
  • can the (defective) modules be easily replaced and what is the likely cost?
  • if you have a lot of modules defective - is it possible to replace individual cells - and would this be an expensive repair
  • does anyone know at what point you would discard modules rather than try to fix them - also are cells recoverable or are they like ordinary battery cells and do you just discard them or can the metal materials be recovered?
Over to You.
 

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We're still in the early generations of car batteries at the moment. I'm nowhere near as pessimistic as your taxi driver about them, but for now I will personally not be keeping any EV outside of it's warranty period (the overall warranty, not just the 8 year battery one). There are too many unknowns about cost to repair any unforeseen issues etc.

There are likely to be many improvements over the coming years & it won't take much innovation to make the current generation of cars depreciate very quickly if something very clever comes to market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This answers a load of your questions

Thanks for this - very interesting and fills in quite a few blanks e.g. 232kg weight with 9 modules/216 cells with each weighing 1 kg approx. As an update I think battery assembly has or will be moved in house in Zwickau.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We're still in the early generations of car batteries at the moment. I'm nowhere near as pessimistic as your taxi driver about them, but for now I will personally not be keeping any EV outside of it's warranty period (the overall warranty, not just the 8 year battery one). There are too many unknowns about cost to repair any unforeseen issues etc.

There are likely to be many improvements over the coming years & it won't take much innovation to make the current generation of cars depreciate very quickly if something very clever comes to market.
Yes its interesting to speculate as to likely battery developments in the next 5 - 10 years. The Push Ev article suggests the current cost per kWh is already down to 鈧100/hr suggesting that the ID3 battery costs somewhere in the region of 鈧6k. I did read another related article in the last year which said that battery costs (per kWH) have reduced dramatically in the last 10/15 years to less than 1/2 of what they were. It did also say though, that reduction below 鈧100/kWh would likely take some more years as major innovation and design changes (e.g solid state batteries) would be required. I just hope in the meantime that innovation occurs in refurbishing batteries and recovering cells. If this happens we can hang on for as long as possible to our ID3s'.
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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We are way past early adopter battery issues, I see this as a dead issue now, has to be said. There's a handful of stories of genuine battery issues each year and most of them are resolved with a few replacement cells or a replacement module (once you've found a dealer equipped to properly test), so I really do think that for the educated EV driver this is not a thing to even think about.
As for the taxi driver .. he has a fairly unique use case, and will reckon he will never be able to leave his diesel behind, but if he sat down and did the maths even factoring in a complete battery replacement every 100,000 miles (astonishingly unlikely) he'd still be quids in, assuming he can find jobs that don't require him to spend working hours charging..
 

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Just my own opinion, not basing it on any thing. I reckon after 12 or more years the battery will still give the car a usable range, how much down I don't know. The ID has a good BMS, I know we complain about the winter heating etc, but it should give the battery a good life.
I bought my wife one of the first iPod thingies (The one with the large screen) in I think early 2007. She uses it daily both for music and as an alarm clock. She claims it still lasts almost as long on a charge as when new. Apple appear not to let their batteries get too hot and also throttle the speed before getting full.
How much is an ICE car worth after 12 or more years? Probably very little, at least the EV should have a second life value in storage or whatever. Also I am sure in much less years there will be a whole new industry in aftermarket repairs/refreshing batteries.
 

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The ID has a unique battery design with much small then usual "cigar" cells. It also had advanced battery management, so 80% on day would be a different set of cells at different charge levels then the next day. Also as its 62kw gross, 100% is actually not 100%.
Many people are talking about batteries lasting the life of the car Now (15 years and up). Nothing for you to worry about as first owner ....
Also, looking at resale values of 2018 jaguar ipace and other "old" teslas, certainly doesn't effect resale value.
Lastly, bear in mind that an ICE looses at least 10-25% of its power and torque after 10-15 years. I recall a very amusing Top gear episode with Jeremy Clarkson who bought a 20 year old sports car and was gutted when he found out it had half of the original BHP
 

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This is a non issue with taxi cos already running fleets of taxis eg Blackpool Taxis and Truro? They have been doing this for yrs with EVs with less developed batts. And then there are Tesla being used in the USA that have run up 500K mls having replaced the batts at 325K? mls. All modern EVs will do 100K on the batts and many will never need replacing and if they do there will be a rife 2nd market from crashed cars. The recycling business is getting up to speed but at the moment there are few batts to recycle. PS my P Ion is 10yrs old with very little deteriation.. PPS batts dont just stop working but gently fade.
 

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Lastly, bear in mind that an ICE looses at least 10-25% of its power and torque after 10-15 years. I recall a very amusing Top gear episode with Jeremy Clarkson who bought a 20 year old sports car and was gutted when he found out it had half of the original BHP
Raising a minor disagreement with this, there's PLENTY of 20++ years old, 200,000++ mile ICE engines running within 5% of factory power output still. There's also plenty which aren't, and know what there's even a handful running 10% over factory power after all that time, without any work being done by the owner. It's not as bad as all that out there in the real world. Clarkson isn't a reliable source...

Not to detract from the gist of the argument however, it's clear to me that the "battery life" conversation needs to stop dead, but there's no point in trying to come up with anecdotes about ICE cars which don't necessarily hold up to support it.
 

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there will be a rife 2nd market from crashed cars. The recycling business is getting up to speed but at the moment there are few batts to recycle. PS my P Ion is 10yrs old with very little deteriation.. PPS batts dont just stop working but gently fade.
this. If VW sell as many id3鈥檚 as they plan to (or anything from the same platform - which if you include larger models and seat/Skoda etc.. could be a million cars?) then in 3-5 years time I bet there will be a rife market in replacement/upgraded battery packs鈥 if new battery technology means you can get 50% more capacity for the same physical volume/weight etc.. then someone will make a replacement.

there鈥檚 already an upgrade market for the first generation(s) of leafs non?

The sheer number they鈥檒l produce on this platform was one reason I bought an id3 - it may well have future issues but there will be so many of them about someone will have a solution/future proof it.
 

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Raising a minor disagreement with this, there's PLENTY of 20++ years old, 200,000++ mile ICE engines running within 5% of factory power output still. There's also plenty which aren't, and know what there's even a handful running 10% over factory power after all that time, without any work being done by the owner. It's not as bad as all that out there in the real world. Clarkson isn't a reliable source...

Not to detract from the gist of the argument however, it's clear to me that the "battery life" conversation needs to stop dead, but there's no point in trying to come up with anecdotes about ICE cars which don't necessarily hold up to support it.
Fully agree here. There's a lot of false or over-egged ICE bashing to over-promote the benefits of EV. That particular episode of Top Gear saw the 3 entertaining buffoons each buy a "Supercar for under 拢10k". The cars were closer to 40 years old and absolute dogs. They were only driven hard on the Dyno to establish output and Clarkson's Maserati's crank casing disintegrated, along with the big end bearing during the episode. Clarkson's Maserati had also been misbadged as a significantly higher output than was thought, adding to the 50% loss, about half of that loss was attributed to the discovery of the incorrect badging.

My dad runs his work cars to about 180k miles before ditching, the latest one is a 2013 Golf GTD, with 145k miles on it. Still giving great mpg, better than its been in a long time since he had his DPF cleared of incombustible Ash. He had a MK4 Golf GT TDI 1.9 130ps that he ran to 215k miles and then passed to one of my sisters. A car crash wrote it off, but it performed well throughout its life.
 

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Raising a minor disagreement with this, there's PLENTY of 20++ years old, 200,000++ mile ICE engines running within 5% of factory power output still. There's also plenty which aren't, and know what there's even a handful running 10% over factory power after all that time, without any work being done by the owner. It's not as bad as all that out there in the real world. Clarkson isn't a reliable source...

Not to detract from the gist of the argument however, it's clear to me that the "battery life" conversation needs to stop dead, but there's no point in trying to come up with anecdotes about ICE cars which don't necessarily hold up to support it.
You are right, there is variability, it also depends on mileage and how the car was driven, but nevertheless this is an issue for ICE cars, particularly on the more sports car/finely tuned end. It is not a key issue, but one nonetheless. Also folk saying they had a car for 200000 miles and it's not an issue, did they actually have the engine tested for power output ? As bits of the car rust and drop away it also gets lighter, like.my friends cortina ;)
 

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It was mentioned at Fully Charged Live this weekend that the general publics experience of batteries failing after a couple of years in their phones or laptops makes them hesitant about EV's. All you can do is try and educate them that an EV battery is designed to last 8 years instead of 3 years and will probably last longer. All this is achieved as you probably know because the BMS protects the battery from fully discharging to 0% and charging to 100%. Also the power draw is controlled so that it doesn't damage the battery from overheating and normally has battery cooling unlike a hot laptop or mobile phone battery burning away on your knees or in your pocket! :)
 

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It was mentioned at Fully Charged Live this weekend that the general publics experience of batteries failing after a couple of years in their phones or laptops makes them hesitant about EV's. All you can do is try and educate them that an EV battery is designed to last 8 years instead of 3 years and will probably last longer.
Make that: 'will definitely last longer'. Kia offer 7 years of warranty and the battery will not magically fall apart after that. I expect batteries to last a minimum of 10 years for an average user and there will be a very rich aftermarket / second hand market to swap your battery for reasonable prices.
 

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Make that: 'will definitely last longer'. Kia offer 7 years of warranty and the battery will not magically fall apart after that. I expect batteries to last a minimum of 10 years for an average user and there will be a very rich aftermarket / second hand market to swap your battery for reasonable prices.
I'd hope/expect 15 years/200k miles with 75-80% original capacity if it hasn't had an overly hard life (e.g. all rapid charging to 100%). 8 year battery warranty is for worst case abuse. Most people currently expect an ICE car to last 15 years if its not written off in an accident.

If an EV isn't expected to last as long as an ICE without significant reinvestment (dropping 拢拢拢 on a new battery), the residuals will suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some very interesting and useful comments so far - thanks for these. Just to expand a bit further - I think I will struggle to do even 20k km annually so I personally have no worries on the battery - I would expect with taking reasonable care of the battery to have around 80% SOH after 8 years with still a very useful range of say 320km or so. It would be great in my mind if you could get the battery "serviced" at that point (replace a deficient module and /or cells) for not huge money and end up with a 90%+ SOH battery good for a further 8 years! This would also be very good environmentally and makes best use of scarce resources. Also it would allay doubts/fears of ICE drivers and encourage more universal adoption of EVs. Seeing from the taxi driver's viewpoint, his much higher mileage would mean that his guarantee period is much less than 8 years - possibly 4 years or less. His concern at that stage is how much money it will take to restore the battery charge or replace the battery altogether if that makes more sense. If I was buying an Ev for a taxi I think I would be looking for the largest battery/best efficiency combination - beyond a Nissan Leaf what would be the choices?
 

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The heating/cooling system seems to work pretty efficiently in the ID.3 even during fast charging, plus the battery pack is monitored by several temp sensors. Car Scanner app displays 18 temperature points in the battery pack, there are no significant discrepancies between various modules in the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry - 1 little edit for my last comment ......... how much money it MIGHT take for the taxi driver to restore battery capacity after 4 high mileage years. - it is a genuine concern for him - but may never happen much depending I suppose on how the EV is used/abused.
 

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I bet for most (urban) Mini Cab users the M/KWh figures would be superb. Plus no NO2 being emitted鈥.

I know GM-EV here in Manchester are having a special taxi driver charging rate when they introduce payments at the end of the month. 25p per KWh I think鈥

Suspect once one or two cabbies jump the rest will follow - MG5鈥檚 instead of Octavia Estates?
 
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