The used electric vehicle market will change with new battery warranties

As consumers turn their attention to purchasing a new electric vehicle, the growing used vehicle market should also be watched.Keith Srakocic/The Associated Press

The International Energy Agency projects that 300 million electric vehicles need to be on the world’s roads by 2030 to be on track for Net Zero Emissions by 2050.

In Canada, despite problems with charging infrastructure and criticism over government rebates, we have seen increased interest in electric vehicles and rapid growth in sales. As consumers turn their attention to purchasing a new electric vehicle, the growing used vehicle market should also be watched.

Most manufacturers that guarantee batteries for eight years or 100,000 miles will make drivers hesitate to buy a six- or seven-year-old used EV with mileage approaching the factory warranty limit. Fear of out-of-pocket costs to replace the battery after warranty is creating the impression that high-mileage electric vehicles are disposable vehicles, regardless of their general condition.

How Electric Vehicle Maintenance Is Different Part One: Regenerative Braking Can Cause Corrosion Buildup

How EV Maintenance is Different Part 2: Higher Weight, Torque Is a Recipe for Faster Wear

How Electric Vehicle Maintenance Is Different Part 3: Is It Cheaper To Maintain An Electric Vehicle?

Currently, I’m not aware of any non-dealer third-party warranty companies that offer a policy designed specifically for EVs, but I’m confident that will change and soon there will be a used EV product sold as an add-on. to the remainder of the factory warranty. A colleague who works for a warranty company asked for help with his product development. I answered as many of his inquiries as I could given my background in the auto industry, but had no idea what prospective customers would want or expect. That’s where you come in and how you can help shape a new product.

  1. What components are consumers most concerned about when considering an extended EV warranty?
  2. duration of the property. How long do you see yourself owning your used EV?
  3. Who does the typical market for used electric vehicles attract? First time owner or second time electric vehicle owner?
  4. Realistically, how much would you spend on a warranty when buying a used EV?

If you feel like adding your opinion, answer these questions in the comments sections or send me an email. Your contact information will not be available to anyone if you want to send an email.


Your Automotive Questions Answered

Hi Lou,

I have a 2009 Toyota Venza 4 wheel drive with 110,000 miles on it. Some time ago, I started getting a ‘CHECK SRS WARNING’ message on the dash. I noticed that the message appears if the driver’s side door is open when the ignition is turned on or while the car is parked with the ignition on and the driver’s side door is open. If I close the door, turn off the engine, and then turn it back on, the message goes away and doesn’t come back.

I took it to my Toyota dealer and after spending $1,200 on labor, they couldn’t find the problem and suggested trying to change the entire wire harness, for $1,000 to $1,100. There is no guarantee that it will solve the problem.

I then took the car to another independent shop and they determined it was a sensor problem. The replacement would cost me between $800 and $1000 in parts and labor. However, they suggested that it did not need to be replaced. The air bags should work normally and I should avoid opening the driver’s door while the car is running.

Any suggestion?

Shah, G.

I have a real issue with any store telling a customer to live with a problem when it’s clearly a security issue. What happens when an accident occurs? The air bags “should work” is not something I care to know.

I also doubt the sensor is the problem, since the light only comes on when the door is open. The front sensors are not sideways meaning both front doors use the same part and the sensors should have been swapped side to side to see if the error code went to the passenger door.

In my opinion the dealer is right, the problem is in the harness that goes from the A-pillar to the driver’s door. This harness gets brittle with age and fatigued from years of opening and closing that door. Dealers don’t want the responsibility of repairing an air bag cable and will always recommend a complete harness. Go to another shop and have that harness thoroughly examined and a broken wire will likely be found. Fix it and get on with your life.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. For everyone who lives with their Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag warning lights illuminated on the dash. When that light is on for any reason, the computer is telling you that a failure has occurred. The air bags may not deploy in an accident. Ignoring this light puts you and your passengers at risk, fix it.


Hi Lou,

I love your column! I am a 63 year old active retiree who will soon need a new vehicle and unlike my last one I have no idea what to buy. I have a 2013 Acura RDX that I bought new in 2012. I love it. It has 220,000 kilometers and is well maintained. The service book is a bible for me, and I have also taken care of the body. I live in a small, remote community in the interior of BC, so all I have is Ford, Honda, Toyota, Dodge, and Subaru dealerships within 45 minutes. I have it checked at an independent workshop in my city. However, I am buying new and luxury brands are not an option as Kelowna is 5 hours away. I want a hybrid for sure as I need range and electric isn’t there yet. Being stuck on a winter road is not an option. If I could, I’d buy a hybrid Subaru Outback, but it doesn’t exist. Honda and Toyota have been very good to me. I also need power to overtake on our mountain roads and I always have snow on my tires for the winter. An SUV is a must, and the size of my Acura is perfect.

Any suggestion?

Tracey F.

Thanks Tracy. Since Hondas and Toyotas have been good to you, why not stick with something you’re already familiar with? The first idea that comes to mind is a Toyota RAV4 hybrid and the second is the new CR-V hybrid. I’m putting the Toyota first because the RAV4 hybrid has been around for a while, which leads me to believe Toyota should have fixed most of the bugs by now. The Honda CR-V will be closer to home, though, as it’s similar in functionality and handling to the RDX you already know and love.

Lou Trottier is the owner and operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Do you have any questions about maintenance and repair? Email globedrive@globeandmail.complacing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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