As more electric vehicles hit the used-car market, dealers and buyers are starting to ask about the health and longevity of their batteries.
But there is a dearth of information. The auto industry lacks a standard method and set of metrics for reporting battery health to shoppers of used EVs. For now, it's buyer beware.
"It's a problem," said Gabriel Shenhar, associate director of the auto test program at Consumer Reports. "We get that question quite a bit" from readers but "dealers and manufacturers are loath to share data."
"I'd like to see something more robust and assuring for used-EV buyers," Shenhar said.
To be sure, a lack of information about a particular vehicle's history has long been an issue in the used-car market. Buyers don't see metrics on the wear of engines and transmissions in internal combustion vehicles.
But the battery health question has taken on more urgency with the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation includes a used-EV purchase credit of up to $4,000 or 30 percent of the price, whichever is lower.
The credit only applies to used EVs sold by licensed dealers. Battery packs are the priciest component in any EV, with replacements hitting five figures. Dealers will need to be prepared to discuss the health of used batteries with anxious potential buyers.