More than half of consumers “hugely overestimate” the time it takes for used electric car batteries to degrade, according to April’s Startline Used Car Tracker.

Asked to estimate typical range loss after five years, 56% said they expected the fall to be 30% or more. In fact, research shows the real-world result is likely to be less than half this figure.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Anecdotal feedback shows there is a lot of misinformation among the general public about used car electric vehicle (EV) batteries and how quickly they degrade – and our findings clearly back that up.

“It’s an important subject for the future of the used car market. If someone is considering buying an EV for the first time, they are likely to be put off if they hugely overestimate the speed at which electric cars lose range.

“The fact is that there is now quite a lot of real-world information about battery life available and, as long as the previous owner has been sensible about the way in which the car has been charged, the drop-off in range is likely to be relatively low over time.”

He added that it was encouraging that 44% of people in Startline’s research had estimated the loss in range more accurately, saying the fall in range would be 20% or less.

Paul said: “This does arguably show that a sizeable minority of people are in the ballpark of getting the figure right, which is promising, but the used car sector clearly still has much to do to educate people about how EV batteries perform over time.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 300 consumers and 60 dealers were questioned.

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