The case of an early Volkswagen ID.3 1ST that appeared to lose 7.5% of its initial battery capacity after the first year of use is back - Volkswagen has confirmed a substantial capacity drop.
Let's recall that Battery Life - an EV enthusiast and YouTuber - range tested its ID.3 1ST at 90 km/h (56 mph) after the first year and 22,644 km (14,073 miles).
The comparison of range and energy consumption numbers - when the car was new and after the first year - indicated that the battery provided 4.4 kWh (or 7.5%) less energy.
It's a rather high value, but also the use case was specific: "...the car covered the first 15,000 km (9,000 miles) within the first three months of ownership. At the time, it was charged almost exclusively (90%) at 100 kW DC fast chargers up to full, and regularly discharged below 10% State of Charge (SOC). Later, the usage profile has changed to mostly 11 kW AC and up to 80% SOC."
Battery Life notes that there were a lot of negative or emotional comments about the results or methodology. It's very unfortunate as bloggers are essentially our front-line soldiers that try to explore EVs, record and collect the valuable data.
According to the update, Battery Life checked the ID.3 using a car scanner pro app, which showed an available battery capacity of 54,148.72 Wh (which is 6.6% less than the usable 58 kWh out of 62 kWh total, of a new car).
Volkswagen confirms 8% battery capacity degradation
The next step was to ask Volkswagen about the battery capacity - its state-of-health (SOH). It happened after 14 months and over 25,000 km (16,000 miles).
A Volkswagen service center conducted a special charging/discharging procedure and using its equipment, determined that the state-of-health is at 92%. It means 8% capacity degradation.
It suggests that the amateurish estimated value of 7.5% drop after 12 months of ownership might be more accurate than anticipated.
Volkswagen's test result:
At the same time, it's worth to note - and Battery Life points that out - that the new EVs initially lose a few percent of battery capacity anyway (then the degradation "slows down"). On top of that comes the specific use case.
For us, it's great to see that users can try to estimate the battery capacity fade, that they can check it at the service center and that we have another important data point. Time will tell whether it's kind of the worst-case scenario or typical. Finally, because Battery Life will use the car over a 3-year lease period, we might be able to see how the capacity fade progresses.