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Battery health refers to the overall condition and performance of a vehicle’s battery. It’s a measure of how well the battery can store and deliver electrical energy compared to its original capacity and performance when it was new. Battery health is an important consideration because it directly impacts the longevity and range of the vehicle and therefore affects how much it is worth to buy and sell.

A battery health certificate gives peace of mind in a similar way to an MOT and helps assess the value of a vehicle when buying, selling or reviewing service plan options. Unlike an MOT certificate a Battery Health Certificate does not show a pass or fail – it shows how healthy the battery is and how it compares to other vehicles.

The battery health certificate only relates to the vehicle’s battery, and no other parts of the car such as the brakes, or body work.

All other aspects of a vehicle apart from the battery will still need to be subject to an MOT. Because an MOT will not measure the battery’s health, a battery health certificate is an ideal document to accompany an MOT for anyone looking to buy or sell a used electric vehicle.

Altelium’s proprietary test works by collecting data from the battery and vehicle, and using this information to estimate the health of the battery. Using powerful data analytic processes these datasets are cross referenced with modelled and real world battery performance data to reveal whether the battery is likely to be reliable in the future.

Modelling battery performance is an essential step to inform extended warranties or other financial or service solutions, to allow informed decision-making when buying or selling the vehicle.

All EV batteries suffer from degradation. There are several different mechanisms of degradation, including ‘calendar’ ageing that occurs over the course of time and ‘cycling’ ageing which occurs as a result of the battery being charged and discharged. Rates of degradation vary depending on many factors, including how the vehicle is used / charged so it’s not always easy to tell whether a battery is showing signs of abnormal degradation. The Altelium battery health test provides a way to verify the battery degradation of a vehicle before purchase.

The lithium-ion chemistry in batteries varies according to the preferred balance between energy density, cycle life, safety, and cost-effectiveness. The most common lithium-ion battery chemistries in electric vehicles are:

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide (LiNCM or NMC)
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP):
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNCM or NCA)

Any one vehicle will always have the same type of chemistry in its battery cells, but the chemistry can vary between models and makes. Battery health tests, such as Altelium’s will take this into account and will also be updated as new vehicles are released with different battery chemistries.

The main factor to be aware of is whether the batteries in your vehicle are LFP. In this case you will need to charge the vehicle to 100% on a regular basis in order to rebalance the cells.

A high mileage EV is not necessarily something to worry about it, what matters is the health of the battery. Altelium’s battery dealer test and certificate will tell you all you need to know in this respect.

The size of the battery has a big impact, so a car with a big battery and 100,000 miles on the clock is likely to be in better shape than a car with the same mileage but a smaller battery. However, a battery health check will always be important, regardless of size. You don’t want a large battery that is showing signs of serious degradation. An Altelium battery dealer test and certificate will tell you whether that battery is doing better or worse than expected for the mileage and help guide your decision-making.

Altelium is a company set up in the UK in 2018 by a group of scientists and insurance specialists who recognised that new, clean technology powered by electric batteries would need a new type of insurance.

Beginning with laboratory testing and modelling of battery data at Lancaster University, Altelium was set up to solve this problem for electric battery power. To help speed the development of its battery datasets, the UK awarded grants to Altelium through Innovate UK, and Lloyds of London through the Lloyds Lab helped the company to develop its A rated insurance services.

Altelium is now a global information and insurance solutions provider for batteries in any stationary or mobile setting. Altelium’s battery health tests, battery health certificates and extended warranty services are helping to power business for leading car dealers, repairers and investors across the world.

Because vehicle battery cells involve chemistry, temperature has an effect on the battery health.  High temperatures can cause accelerated degradation, while extreme cold can temporarily reduce battery performance. Most electric vehicles have a thermal management system to maintain the battery within an optimal temperature range during operation and charging. If you can, avoid exposing your EV to extreme temperatures as much as possible, for example on a very hot and sunny day, try and park your car in the shade.

The state of charge indicates how much energy is currently stored in the battery as a percentage of its maximum capacity. Keeping a battery within a healthy SoC range can help prolong its life. Your vehicle will have a battery management system which is designed to protect the battery from serious damage, but you can prolong its life by keeping the battery between 20% and 80% charge as much as possible.

Battery capacity refers to the amount of electrical energy a battery can store and deliver when fully charged. In vehicles it is measured in watt-hours (Wh). As a battery ages, its capacity very gradually decreases. A battery with reduced capacity will run out of charge more quickly, leading to shorter usage time or range between charges.

All electric vehicles have a battery management feature or operating system. It is a crucial hidden component which maintains the performance, safety, and longevity of the batteries. The BMS will vary between manufacturers and models and will come with varying degrees of sophistication, but a crucial role for all of them is thermal management. The BMS monitors the temperature of each cell and can activate cooling or heating systems to keep the cells within an optimal temperature range. This ensures that each cell within a battery pack operates within safe limits and helps maximize the overall efficiency and lifespan of the battery system. The BMS will also protect the battery by ensuring the vehicle is not overcharged, and may sometimes disconnect from the charger if necessary.

Range will be affected by the energy available from the battery, (which is itself affected by the outside temperate and the normal degradation of the battery), driving efficiency, and additional energy being used by the vehicle such as aircon and heating. In cold weather it is normal for the maximum range of an EV to reduce by between 10% to 30%.

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