Cox Automotive is getting into the electric vehicle battery lifecycle business.
The company said Wednesday it acquired Oklahoma City-based Spiers New Technologies (SNT), a business that provides repair, remanufacturing, refurbishing and repurposing services for EV battery packs.
The two companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. Cox said the acquisition will help it establish its battery servicing offerings, particularly as “EVs take center stage.” It added that electric vehicles have completely different service profiles than their internal combustion engine vehicle counterparts, and much of that comes down to the battery. EV battery support is particularly critical as the battery pack itself can comprise as much as 40% of the vehicle’s cost.
Even as federal investment in electric vehicles grow, and more automakers announce billions to build out their EV businesses, public skepticism remains. Eight out of 10 people not considering purchasing an EV are skeptical about the value of the battery and its useful life, according to research conducted by Cox.
This is not Cox’s only foray into EV battery management; the company also builds a battery health diagnostic tool with SNT that uses Spiers’ software platform, Alfred. Cox said it would use the diagnostic tool to push greater confidence in electric vehicles, likening it to the way that Kelley Blue Book has provided greater transparency about ICE vehicles’ condition for consumers.
The acquisition will also give Cox a stake in the battery repurposing business. Spiers is one of a few companies that specializes giving EV batteries a “second life” after they are no longer fit for use in a vehicle. Around 80% to 90% of the batteries SNT receives are from OEMs, with the rest from auto dismantlers, the company told TechCrunch in an interview earlier this year. It’s a business segment that is likely only to grow as more EVs come off the roads, so the transaction is likely giving Cox a stake in end-of-life purposes as well.