The ACL now offers a reliable testing tool which enables users to assess the performance of their vehicle's battery.
The battery is an essential component and a source of much discussion when it comes to electrified vehicles. In addition to size and weight considerations, there is the well-known issue of range, which remains, to this day, the Achilles heel of the electric vehicle. Another complicating factor is the ageing of the battery, which is able to store decreasing amounts of energy over time and as a result of repeated recharging. This component, which has a direct impact on performance and range, also affects the vehicle’s resale value.
A new ACL service
It is now possible to obtain a reliable independent reading of this variable through a product developed by the Austrian company Aviloo (certified by the TÜV certification body) and available at the ACL. The tool consists of a box that is plugged into the vehicle's OBD port and interprets raw information from the battery (voltages, currents and temperatures) while the vehicle is in use. This data is then scientifically analysed (a process known as ‘reverse engineering’) to produce a report with a certificate attesting to the true SOH value of the battery in question.
This product is clearly, then, of interest not only to owners (whether private individuals or professionals) of electric cars or plug-in hybrids who want to check what sort of condition their battery is in, but also to future buyers when these vehicles come onto the second-hand market.
A guaranteed nominal capacity
Manufacturers are well aware of this problem and are trying to reassure buyers by offering a longer warranty than applies to the vehicle itself (usually 6 to 8 years on the battery). That said, it can still become a problem sometimes, when performance is no longer up to scratch and a replacement is needed. The warranty will actually cover the battery for a nominal capacity of up to 70% (we also talk about ‘state of health’ or SOH), meaning that if the capacity falls below this value during the warranty period, the manufacturer is obliged to replace the battery - a very expensive operation (€10,000 to €20,000 depending on the size of the battery) that manufacturers will want to avoid at all costs during the warranty period!
However, since this SOH information can only be provided by the manufacturer (or by the diagnostic port information processed and controlled by the manufacturer), it wasn’t previously possible to obtain an objective and independent assessment of the battery's state of health. This can sometimes prove problematic since owners who have noticed a significant decline in battery life can be refused a replacement battery on the grounds that the SOH established by the manufacturer is above 70%, with no way of seeking a second opinion.
This battery test is available to individuals at the ACL Diagnostic Center at a cost of €99 incl. taxes for members or €149 incl. taxes for non-members.
For companies, our professionals at the ACL Mobility Loft are on hand to come up with a solution tailored to your needs.