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Kia's plan to solve electric vehicle resale in Australia: Local battery repairs and guaranteed future values coming for brand's EV range

Kia's EV line-up includes models like the EV6 and EV9 and will soon include the EV5.

Kia is working on what it says will be a solution to electric-vehicle resale challenges, promising localised battery reconditioning and guaranteed future value for its EV6, EV9 and incoming EV5.

Gradual battery degradation and the expense and complication of replacing battery packs have long been touted as impacting EV resale prices, with electric vehicle take-up still essentially in its infancy when it comes to the second-hand market.

Owners of Australia’s earliest EVs report significant battery capacity losses beyond the vehicle warranty’s period, which is thought to be impacting used-vehicle prices.

But Kia says it will introduce a guaranteed future value program for its electric vehicles this year, and is working on cell-by-cell battery reconditioning in Australia — two things, it says, will help allay fears over EV resale.

“We're working away,” says Kia Australia CEO, Damien Meredith. “Our partner is Allied Finance. There's still plenty of work to do. We don't have a Guaranteed Future Value on any of our products at this point in time, and that's where we need to be.”

While full details of the program are yet to be detailed, Kia says it won’t be able to be backdated to existing EV owners, and instead will be applied to new purchasers, and will tie in with Kia’s new-car finance. Expect more details on the program this year.

The second stage in Kia’s plan is local battery reconditioning, which it says would essentially make older batteries new again in terms of capacity and driving range.

The second stage in Kia’s plan is local battery reconditioning, which it says would essentially make older batteries new again in terms of capacity and driving range.

The brand is keeping its cards close to its chest, but says it is working with a local partner and is seeking approval from its Korean HQ to recondition batteries in Australia.

“The other is you've got to get confidence in the dealer network to actually carry used-car EVs. And that in itself is a bit of a challenge,” Mr Meredith says.

Kia is working on what it says will be a solution to electric-vehicle resale challenges, promising localised battery reconditioning and guaranteed future value for its EV6, EV9 and incoming EV5.

“We were out at a place that looks at fixing up EV batteries. So all those things are going to play a part. It effectively gets (the battery) back to new. Basically what we're looking at is regeneration of the battery packs.

“We're working through that at the moment. But look, that's going to be a bit of a slow burn because we've got to be comfortable with them and get approval from head office.

"But it is all part and parcel of that thing because what are you going to do with an EV in five years time if it's not on the market? We haven't got a scrap strategy in Australia or anything like that. So we've got to look at all those options.”

Kia will soon introduce a third member of its more premium EV range in Australia, with the EV5 to launch mid-year, joining the EV6 and EV9 in its line-up.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to...
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