22 October 2020

How long do electric car batteries last?

Apprehension over an electric vehicle’s range and battery life are the two major reasons that potential purchasers are reluctant to make the switch from vehicles that operate on diesel or petrol. Just like your laptop or mobile battery, the batteries in electric vehicles will lose some of their capacity over extended use. In this post, we look at the facts on EV durability, what happens if a replacement is required, and battery care.

EV battery life expectancy

Almost all the electric car batteries are of the lithium-ion variety, like the batteries in computers and smartphones. And, as with all EV batteries, the lithium-ion ones have a finite life expectancy.

Most EV manufacturers offer consumers a 5 to 8 years warranty on the electric battery. A lot of evidence indicates that the battery can last between 10 and 20 years. Once the battery degrades past a certain point it can be replaced. Additional data claims that an EV battery pack’s life expectancy is about 17 years or 200, 000 miles, depending on your driving habits.

What happens when the EV battery degrades?

If you own the entire vehicle, and it is out of warranty, consider purchasing a new battery. It is a bit costly, but it should not be a concern as you are likely to get over 100,000 miles from that vehicle – most will be looking for a new battery by then. In comparison, a petrol engined vehicle will start to require attention at around 100,000 miles of range.

Electric car battery frame

If you leased the car battery, maybe under a separate agreement, it would be repaired or replaced free of charge if it is found to have degraded.

Electric car battery repurposed – what happens to it?

Many car makers are discovering ways in which electric car batteries can be recycled or repurposed.

Once they can no longer be repurposed, they are removed and can be useful or utilised as energy storage containers in the home or the electricity network; there is a growing demand for this.

Electric car battery warranties

Manufacturers are fully aware that consumers are worried about the longevity of the batteries of their cars. Most of them offer warranties tailored for electric car owners.

Some car manufacturers do not offer a warranty on battery degradation, while others guarantee their batteries for 100,000 miles\8 years and will repair lost capacity below 70% free of charge during the given period.

The length of the EV battery warranty should help ease worries about placement or fault costs.

Naturally, you will need to check the warranty offered on the EV you are considering purchasing. However, the prevalence and length of the battery warranties on EVs will be the key to the wide uptake.

How far can an EV be driven

The accurate answer depends on the weather conditions, traffic conditions, the kind of driving being done, and the battery size.

Electric vehicles are equipped with a range indicator on their dashboard, allowing you to see an image of what to expect from it as you drive. Typically an electric vehicle would be expected to cover ranges from anywhere between 150 – 300 miles on a full charge.

electric car battery range

Electric car charging speeds

The time it takes to charge an EV can be more than 12 hours or as little as 30 minutes. It depends on the charge speeds and the size of the battery. The slower the charging point and the bigger the battery, the longer it takes.

Electric car reliability

Electric cars have the potential to be more reliable when compared to petrol or diesel powered vehicles. They only require a few parts that need fluids, which could be corrupted by the grease, particles, fuel, or elements and a few moving parts.

Therefore, an electric car will not require as much maintenance and care, tripling the car’s longevity.

It is also worth noting that EVs are still in their infancy. And so, they can still suffer from quality problems, which commonly affect first-generation systems.

Summary

Every electric vehicle battery will eventually face degradation. However, most sources claim that only a few EV batteries have depleted to the point of needing a replacement. As it stands, carmakers aim to engineer electric car batteries, which will offer cars with top performance and long life.