which almost certainly will outlast the mechanical life of the car
Confused as we currently replace mechanical components to keep our "old" cars running.
Am I missing something here?
Every car reaches a point where it requires too much maintenance to keep on the road - or it rusts out.
My point was that currently the received wisdom is that the battery pack in an EV is the thing that will wear out first and write the car off due to massive replacement costs. Most modern cars are still mechanically sound well past 10 years but the naysayers believe that the battery will die before about 8 years or will have such a dodgy expected lifetime by then that nobody would risk buying an otherwise perfectly good 8 year old EV.
However while that might be true of some models, there is good evidence accumulating over time that some battery packs (Tesla in particular) are engineered so well that the battery will NOT be the first thing to go in the car or the thing that eventually writes the car off as uneconomic to keep on the road.
Certainly there's no denying that an electric drive train (motor, step down gearbox and differential/driveshafts) is way WAY more reliable than an internal combustion engine and standard gearbox, and requires next to no maintenance compared to the laundry list of items that an internal combustion engine will need over its lifespan, and will certainly outlast a conventional auto box by a long way. So the engine and gearbox is not going to be the thing that wears out first.
So it's going to be down to rust, electronics / ECU failure or battery pack to write off an EV or make it uneconomic to maintain. So far its looking like battery packs are very reliable and almost never fail, however some makes and models do lose quite a bit of capacity/range over time, dependant on how the battery is treated, whereas other models have much less loss of capacity over time and with use.
Rust is an ever present threat in the UK as the means of demise of cars over 10 years old, however I don't think EV's will suffer any worse here, and quite a few of them use aluminium body panels that should in theory last longer. So my biggest worry with EV's when they get to the 10-15 year old range is the failure of expensive and hard to get ECU and possible lack of 3rd party sources for these parts. (Especially if they are coded) However if you look at any modern petrol/diesel it is absolutely crawling with ECU's already so that problem has been with us for a while now!