Home » Will electric cars need car scraps as they become more popular?

Will electric cars need car scraps as they become more popular?

by archyw

Electric vehicle drivers may not turn their heads on many engine parts

According to the data of the company Regitra, this year almost 67 thousand people have already been acquired and registered in Lithuania. passenger cars of class M1. The most popular new car brands are Fiat, Toyota, Volkswagen, Škoda and Peugeot, while used cars are Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Opel.

In October 2020, the United States consumer organization Consumer Reports published a study assessing the reliability of electric cars. According to this study, electric car owners incur less repair costs because electric cars do not have some of the operating fluids typical of internal combustion engine-powered cars. In addition, petrol, diesel or gas cars are more mechanically sophisticated tools.

The main parts that require regular inspection of the electric car are the brakes, suspension parts (shock absorbers, hinges) and air filters. Engine belts, chains, spark plugs – problems with these parts electric car drivers can forget. On the other hand, the most expensive part of an electric car is the battery and the cost of replacing it if necessary is several thousand euros. However, it only needs to be changed every 8-10 years. An outdated battery does not mean that the electric car can no longer continue to run – it simply shortens its distance per charge.

New car owners also use the car scrap service

Vilius Civilka, sales manager of the eBay division of the RRR.lt platform administered by UAB Ovoko, reveals that parts of Lithuanian car scrap are even sold to foreign buyers via eBay. Asked what parts drivers most often turn to, he confirmed that engine parts are among the most in demand.

“The specific categories of goods applied for are engine parts and consumables that are worn, ie turbines, injection system parts, generators, air conditioning systems and other internal combustion engine parts,” says V. Civilka.

These are the most common queries, but some customers may need, for example, a plastic cover to cover the bolt in the car interior. Also, buyers often look for parts not “out of trouble”, but simply want to improve the car, make it more original.

“Drivers from German manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen or Audi often ask if we have more sophisticated details, such as Xenon or LED headlights, sportier M Performance, S Line or R line exterior package parts, more comfortable leather seats or newer multimedia systems, ”said V. Civilka.

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It destroys the myth that only old car parts are sought.

“Parts of newer cars, contrary to what may seem at first glance, are in high demand. Cars sometimes get into accidents, suffer from natural disasters or other incidents. In such cases, cars need a body and, if the damage is more serious, interior, engine or chassis parts. After similar events, even one-year-old cars are sometimes repaired by an unauthorized service center for the simplest reason – even several times cheaper. In this case, the warranty provided by the manufacturer is lost, but the car is repaired using used parts from the scrap, ”the interlocutor reveals.

Electric car enthusiast: There are not many mechanical components, and when they are not, it does not break down

And what parts do electric cars ultimately need? The experience of the author of the blog “100procentuelektrinis.lt” Dainius Jakas shows that, for example, in the electric car Nissan Leaf, after driving about 30,000 kilometers, it was only necessary to change the brake fluid and cabin air filters. The driver is convinced that after driving so many kilometers, the brake fluid in an electric car is changed only because … there is nothing more to change.

An enthusiast who has already tested more than one electric car says that electric cars will need fewer spare parts than other cars currently need.

“In an electric car, the suspension elements, hinges and drawbars are operated for the same amount of time as in other cars. However, there are fewer components that could fail: no clutch, no injection or exhaust systems, no oil filters, no gearbox. And when there are none, you see – they don’t spoil! Although each manufacturer’s electric car has a specific “disease” compared to conventional cars, it is necessary to go to the service less often, “said D. Jakas.

However, right here he noticed that all electric cars rolling on Lithuanian roads are quite new – the oldest of them could be the 10-year-old Nissan Leaf. So it remains to be seen before claiming that they are cheaper to operate and that cars of this type break down less often.

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Used batteries are potentially the most sought-after part of the car scrap of the future

During his driving practice in electric cars, Dainius noticed that their brake pads and discs really wear more slowly – in his Tesla, which has already traveled 195,000 kilometers, the pads and discs have never been replaced.

“If you drive” unsportsmanlike “, the brakes will be in good technical condition for a very long time. Weak brake application triggers regeneration in many electric vehicles. You need to think hard about that pedal to engage the actual brake discs or pads. In other words, if you don’t drive on the bottom-brake-bottom principle, you don’t use the brakes on your electric car at all, ”Jakas explained.

Anyway, what part is likely to need to be replaced first after purchasing an electric car? D. Jack predicts it would be a suspension. And further – it all depends on the manufacturer of the electric car. Nissan Leaf has trouble with interior heating elements, Hyundai has problems with bearings, Tesla electric cars have problems with both bearings and electronics.

Vilius Civilka

© Photo by the organizers

Drivers talk in horror about one part of electric cars – batteries. It is believed that when they wear out, the electric car immediately turns into a pile of scrap metal. However, D. Jakas believes that in the future we will look for used batteries in car scraps. Yes, their price is high, but the battery wears out not as fast as it may seem.

“The battery life of my Tesla electric car, which has traveled almost 200,000 kilometers, is 10%. If the batteries have been left unattended, used a lot in the heat – maybe their balance (battery capacity) will be 40% – then they will definitely need to be replaced. However, used batteries from dismantled electric cars are slowly appearing on the market. It looks like there will definitely be more used batteries in the scrap yard in the future, ”says D. Jakas.

His forecast is also confirmed by Vilius Civilka, a representative of the RRR.lt platform – various parts for electric cars are already available in the scrap yard.

“Our partners, who currently number almost 800, are already successfully selling parts for hybrid and fully electric cars, sending them to various countries around the world. The electric motor itself has few moving parts, making electric cars possibly more durable. However, the electric motor is also surrounded by many components: electric current regulators, high voltage wires, batteries. The gearboxes of electric cars are completely different from cars with an internal combustion engine. These parts are sensitive to climate change, humidity, vibration and severe electric shock. Electric batteries are worn out and need to be replaced with new or properly functioning used ones. In addition, for reasons such as accidents, floods, thefts, cars suffer constantly, so even a replacement electric motor may need to be replaced. I think that electric cars will definitely not be an exception, they will also need parts, just like any car with an internal combustion engine, ”V. Civilka considers.

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Which is more expensive to operate – a car or an electric car?

One Estonian taxi company decided to provide services exclusively by electric car. Today, its electric cars have already traveled 300,000 kilometers and their battery life is 70-80%.
Is it worth buying such a used battery? Mr Jacques is convinced that is so.

“If a person buys a car for personal use, it is unlikely to travel that distance at all. After all, in Lithuania, all cars have traveled less than 200,000 kilometers! ”- ironically D. Jakas, reminding him of the national hobby of“ adjusting ”the mileage of the car.

A used battery could cost between 2,000 and 3,000 euros. A lot? A lot. However, D. Jakas reminds that a car with an internal combustion engine, operated for so many kilometers, will have visited the services more than ten times before the battery of an analogous electric car is worn out.

“In a normal car, after so many kilometers, we will probably have already replaced the engine spark plugs, the gearbox and the clutch. All in all, the electric car battery will no longer look so expensive. When I was driving a car with an internal combustion engine, like a month, I had to go to the service and leave it there for 100, 200 and 50 euros. It’s like buying in installments, when you don’t even feel what the total amount is, ”says D. Jakas.

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