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2021 June 29

Electric future: how will we repair electric cars?

Electric drive is rapidly making its way to the streets. We are used to internal combustion engines, know how to operate and repair them, but we still have questions about electric drive. It is significantly more durable than internal combustion engine as it nearly has no moving parts which have to be lubricated or which may get out of order. Electric cars, however, are not protected against accidents, and their expensive batteries become faulty over time. What we will replace them with? Does a market of used parts for electric cars exist?

Electric cars are durable, but they are not protected from a variety of circumstances

Reliability of electric cars has reached new heights. The owners of electric cars are glad that nothing in their cars breaks or becomes faulty. Dainius Jakas, who is an electric car expert and the author of ‘The 100% electric blog‘, says that there is basically a little number of parts in an electric car that may become faulty. An electric motor is an item that is the size of a watermelon. It has one moving part that rotates the wheels. There are no transmissions in an electric car, no mechanical components to be lubricated and that may wear. Even the chassis has less parts that may wear. Ordinary brakes are rarely used in electric vehicles – most cars have a regenerative braking system. There usually are no bottlenecks in electric cars, although Dainius has identified few of them: ‘A heat pump often gets out of order in cars of Nissan Leaf model, engine bearings sometimes wear out in cars of Hyundai models, and power inverter becomes faulty in cars of the old Mitsubishi models’.

Although such failures are rare and, in the future, they will occur even less often, now the users of the first electric cars face another problem – battery depletion. This problem particularly affects the first-generation cars of Leaf models. This depends on the conditions of use. Therefore, persons having purchased a used first-generation Nissan electric car may be disappointed by the fact that it did not meet expectations regarding the distance travelled.

Batteries deplete due to improper operation. How to replace them?

‘Electric cars with already depleted batteries are usually brought to Lithuania. When electric cars are operated in Lithuania, where not very hot weather dominates, their batteries do not become depleted. Problems occur in areas where hot weather dominates and the car battery is at all times charged to 100%. For example, an electric car, that has been operated for just one year and that drove less than 10 thousand kilometres can be purchased at Italian car showroom. However, the battery life of such a car will be just 40% because the car with a fully charged battery was parked all the time outdoors and was exposed to the sunlight. While the cars of Leaf model, operated by Estonian taxi companies, already travelled more than 300 thousand kilometres each and their battery life still exceeds 70%’, – explained D. Jakas.

An electric car that may travel a distance of just 50 km is useless. For this reason, people install other battery packs in them. Dainius says that in rare cases drivers of electric cars choose a new battery because it is very expensive. People are looking for good batteries in car scrap yards, but it is not possible to check their quality. The expert spoke plainly – it is sort of buying ‘a pig in a poke’.

Guarantee plays an important role in buying ‘a pig in a poke‘

In this case, electric car parts, especially used batteries, need to be chosen very carefully, because car scrap yards usually give no guarantee and do not allow parts to be returned.

RRR.lt, the project developed by UAB Ovoko, may be very helpful in this case. The project unites 715 car scrap yards, which constantly publish information in the online store about available car parts. The visitors of the online store may find the right parts using various convenient search filters. The guarantee of parts return and money-back within 10 days without asking additional questions is probably the most important factor of RRR.lt in terms of used electric car parts.

‘The customers will face no problems in terms of return of the goods because RRR.lt always gives a 10-day return guarantee. If the part is not suitable for your electric car or if it turns out that the part is of poor quality or does not work, you can take advantage of a free return guarantee and recover all money paid, including shipping costs. So, you do not have to worry about anything’, – assured Agnius Skudutis, Customer Development specialist at UAB Ovoko, a company that unites the sellers of used car parts.

The increasing number of electric cars in the market of used car parts

According to the interviewee, electric car boom can be also felt in the market of used cars. As the number of electric cars in the streets increases, and there appear more and more different models of them, the choice of parts is also becoming wider. And they are more popular than we can imagine. So, customers wishing to purchase a used part will have to wait until an identical model will be dismantled.

RRR.lt already offers a considerable range of parts for electric cars – from Tesla Model X to BMW i3 electric cars. Unfortunately, but drivers of e-Golf or e-UP VW cars will not yet find a large range of goods, but it is growing every day. Tesla Model X, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf continue to be the most popular models of dismantled electric cars. You will definitely find their parts. It is important to mention that parts of the most popular categories are purchased very quickly. Therefore, those looking for a replacement battery or optical parts may have to wait for another car to be dismantled’, – Agnius Skudutis, Customer Development specialist at UAB Ovoko, reviewed the market of used parts for electric vehicles.

For some Tesla drivers, car scrap yards are the only way out of the situation.

Yet, oddly enough, but in case of failure of any part of the car, some Tesla drivers will have no other choice but to choose used car parts from car scrap yards.

Dainius Jakas explained that Tesla supplies parts for its cars only through its own channels and is very strict when it comes to car maintenance. If the car is certified in Europe, parts for such a car can only be purchased from the official representative, which is also the only one able to repair the car. If the car was shipped from the USA and is not subject to official Tesla maintenance, you will not be served by the official representative and you will not find new parts in the car part stores. In this case, car scrap yards are the only way out of the situation.

RRR.lt offers not to waste your time searching for less common car parts in thousands of car scrap yards that operate in Lithuania, but, instead, find a required product in the online store that gives a 10-day money-back guarantee.

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