According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global EV market experienced an unprecedented inflection point in 2021, with approximately 16.5 million EVs on the world's roads, up from 10 million in 2020. Gartner projects shipments of electric vehicles to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 26% to reach 36 million units by 2030. As the EV industry continues to expand, governments worldwide are enacting policies and funding packages to support the transition to electric mobility. Many of these efforts will focus on the batteries at the heart of the EV ecosystem. 

Battery Invisibility: Delivering Worry-Free Ownership Through EV Battery Lifecycle Management

For EVs to achieve mass market adoption, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must address one of the biggest customer hurdles: battery health anxiety. Today's EV owners are hyper-aware of battery status, range, charging needs, and degradation over time. This makes battery health a persistent concern and potential source of buyer anxiousness.

The ultimate goal for OEMs should be to make batteries as "invisible" as possible to customers through predictive intelligence, prescriptive alerts, and optimized lifecycle management. Internal combustion engine (ICE) owners take for granted that their vehicle's components will perform without constant monitoring. After all, how often do today’s vehicle owners open the hood? The mainstream EV buyer expects the same hassle-free, "it just works" experience with their battery pack.

Enabling this vision won’t be easy. To ensure superior customer experience and sustain growth levels, OEMs must develop credible and efficient ways to manage EV battery lifecycle and inventory. It’s not just a customer imperative: EV batteries include hazardous materials, and as such are subject to evolving laws and regulations, making it crucial for OEMs to stay up-to-date and compliant. By leveraging advanced technologies, data analytics, and a customer-centric approach, OEMs can ensure regulatory compliance, differentiate themselves in the market, and deliver a superior customer experience.

Recommendations for Effective Electric Vehicle Battery Lifecycle Management

To address the aforementioned challenges and enhance customer experience, OEMs need a comprehensive approach to EV battery lifecycle management. OEMs can overcome these challenges and establish themselves as leaders in the competitive EV market by improving their ability to:

  • Predict Battery Health and Maximize Battery Longevity: The next several years will be a crucial testing ground for new approaches to battery lifecycle management. OEMs will increasingly focus on developing accurate built-in battery health predictors. These tools will leverage predictive algorithms to model and forecast expected battery health and lifespan under specific usage conditions, allowing drivers to anticipate unexpected range limitations due to conditions like cold weather and immediately recognize charging problems. These tools will issue proactive alerts based on sensor and telematics data and serve as targeted guides for maximizing range, performance, and life of battery across conditions. They will also forecast battery failures, allowing drivers to plan for timely replacement across EV models and geographic locations.
  • Develop Responsive Supply Chains and Effective Battery Disposal Methods: OEMs also need to establish responsive battery supply chains that can rapidly replace batteries without accumulating unused battery inventories, which will be a particular challenge in areas with limited EV servicing facilities. Blockchain-based Digital Passports will provide end-to-end visibility and traceability in the battery supply chain from raw materials to manufacturing to disposal. This cycle needs to be auditable, cost effective, repeatable, and lawful. Automated IoT-based sorting and quality testing at battery recycling facilities will efficiently harvest working modules and cells for second-life applications. At that point, OEMs will need to leverage ML-powered battery health analytics to match those refurbished units with optimal reuse cases across renewable grids, EV charging stations, and industrial power buffers, leading to additional opportunities for decarbonization.
  • Embrace Circular Economy Opportunities: Finally, the next phase of battery lifecycle management will continue to focus on safety and sustainability as OEMs accelerate the transition to a transparent, circular battery economy. OEMs will need to strengthen forward and reverse supply chains for battery logistics while adhering to all relevant government regulations. That will mean emphasizing traceable, eco-friendly material sourcing and developing strong governance frameworks to monitor and comply with evolving government rules and regulations. OEMs will need to evaluate sustainability impacts through connected impact accounting. As they consider the implications of automated battery disassembly and re-use at scale, they can also pursue renewable energy sources to power these new facilities and infrastructures. 
By adopting these recommendations focused on emerging technologies, EV OEMs can improve operational efficiency, differentiate themselves, and ensure superior customer experience in the rapidly evolving EV market. During implementation, one critical enabler will be effective data management as systems grow more complex. OEMs will also need long-term customer education campaigns to ensure that consumers understand battery lifecycle realities and align their purchase expectations accordingly.

Embracing the Future of Electric Vehicle Battery Lifecycle Management

As the EV market continues to surge, effective battery lifecycle management is paramount. Advanced technologies and data analytics will provide the backbone of a customer-centric approach that paves the way for mass-scale EV adoption. Vehicle electrification is a critical piece of a sustainable future. That future will be achieved much more quickly if thoughtful battery lifecycle management can deliver a truly superior customer experience.

As the EV market matures, it should be noted that customers will also begin to pay more attention to the values espoused by OEMs. Sustainable extraction of rare earth materials and intelligent reuse of resources will attract positive attention from customers. EV OEMs that lay a strong foundation in EV battery management will be able to seamlessly grow into environmentally sustainable companies that align with customer values. EV battery management, in other words, needs to be a key component of any broader strategy for future viability and growth.  

About the Authors

Ajit Shembekar
Automotive Consulting Head, Wipro North America

Ajit brings 34 years of combined industry and consulting experience in automotive and the broader manufacturing domain. He has assisted clients in all areas of the value stream, including innovation and product-driven growth strategies, business and operating model strategy, M&A, post-merger integration, divestitures, digital growth strategies, and product lifecycle management.

Vinod Kadadi
Partner, Automotive Consulting

Vinod has over 25 years of experience in business and IT transformation in the automotive industry. He has successfully delivered transformative consulting programs and excels in identifying client needs, developing business cases and roadmaps, gathering requirements, and managing programs across sales, manufacturing/supply chain, warranty, parts, distribution, and logistics. Vinod’s thought leadership in connected and electric vehicles adds immense value to the clients.  

Arumugam Selvadurai (Selva)
Consulting Partner, Industrial Manufacturing

Selva is a highly skilled business process expert with over 25 years of experience in auto and industrial manufacturing domain. Leveraging extensive knowledge in auto, energy, discrete, and process manufacturing domains, he assists clients in optimizing critical processes in manufacturing operations, quality control, supply chain management, pricing strategies, aftermarket services, and IoT integration. Selva is an early adopter of AI/ML and GenAI, and provides thought leadership to global organizations seeking to modernize their core foundations and drive digital transformation across the value chain.