How Long Does An Electric Car Battery Last – An In Depth Analysis

Electric vehicles are mechanically simpler than internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs have fewer mechanical components than ICE-powered engines. They have single-speed transmission and fewer automotive system components that would fail over time and cause system damages.

Yet, users have a prominent concern about the longevity of EV batteries. According to a report by Cox Automotive, 65% of motorists who want to switch to electric cars have significant concerns about battery life. They fear EV battery packs will only last 65,000 miles or less. Wait! Is this true? We’ll find out soon.

Let’s be clear, replacing EV batteries is quite expensive. Tesla batteries will cost around $20,000 to $35,000 to replace a complete set of battery pack modules. That’s for the battery alone. You’ll still pay extra fees for installation. However, while EV batteries will lose power capacity over time, that doesn’t mean that they’ll fail and won’t hold charge altogether.

Now, let’s dive in and answer the question, how long does an electric car battery last? Before that, let’s look at how an electric car battery works.

How Do Electric Car Batteries Work?

Battery-electric vehicles power the motor with electricity stored in the battery pack to engage the transmission and move the wheels. When desolated, you’ll have to charge the battery via a charging socket or at a charging station. Since EVs and BEVs don’t have internal combustion engines, they run on electricity.

EVs are environmentally friendly as they don’t cause tailpipe pollution. They don’t even have exhaust tailpipes. However, when charging at dedicated charging units or a wall socket, they may produce some kind of heat. The amount of heat EVs produce depends on how the electricity is produced.

BEVs or EVs produce little pollution. However, electrical cars with renewable energy sources produce no emission pollution. Running independently from internal combustion engines means no visit to gas stations.

how long does an electric car battery last before recharging

How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last?

If you’re asking, how long does an electric car battery last before replacement? Most BEVs and EVs battery manufacturers have a five to eight years warranty on their batteries. This means the battery will last up to five years. However, experts predict electric car batteries to last 10-20 years or 100,000 miles before their capacity will seriously diminish.

For most motorists, 10-20 years or 100,000 miles means the battery may last the life of the vehicle. If you choose to continue driving the same model for a decade or more, you may have to replace the battery pack at some point. This isn’t heart-breaking, is it? It’s just the same way an internal combustion engine needs transmission or engine replacement.

As BEV batteries are cheaper to produce, manufacturers will create bigger batteries with higher capacity. This means more mile-range. Even as the batteries degrade over time, they’ll still stay closer to the maximum potential.

Since most EV battery producers manufacture the batteries with many individual cells, you don’t have to replace the entire battery as it degrades. Instead, you’ll have to replace dead cells.

What Can Affect Your Electric Car Battery’s Life?

Battery-electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries last long. However, several factors can cause it to degrade. Storage, temperature and time affect electric cars’ batteries.

Storage and operating temperature significantly affect the longevity of an EV battery. Warmer temperature degrades the lifespan of an EV battery. During charge cycles – as you charge the battery and it loses power during driving, the battery loses potential power capacity. 

Although, frequent charging or not using your electric car doesn’t mean it’ll last forever.

How To Increase The Lifespan Of Electric Car Battery

It is quite clear that hybrid cars and electric car batteries are durable. However, there are steps and actions you can take to increase their lifespan.

how long does an electric car battery last

Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Always follow your battery manufacturer’s specific instructions and keep the vehicle software up to date for optimal performance. EV battery manufacturers use different chemistries and cooling technologies in production. Therefore, they’ll have different charging and operating instructions.

Maintain optimal battery temperature

Electric vehicle batteries that are liquid-cooled retain charge and last longer because they maintain average operating temp. So, parking your vehicle in a moderate temperature environment is an effective way of increasing the battery’s lifespan.

If you live in a region with warmer temperatures, always park your vehicle in a shaded area or a garage. This will help maximize the battery lifespan.

Minimize rapid charging

While it is okay to occasionally use direct current rapid charging (DCRC) to power EV batteries, experts suggest minimizing rapid charging will increase the lifespan. 

Fortunately, there is a lot of electric vehicle charging stations to recharge electric vehicles. Do not stop using your electric cars as frequently as you want. Rapid charging is not a significant factor in battery degradation.

FAQs:

Q: How long does an electric car battery last before recharging?

If you mean how long does an electric car battery last per charge, or how long does an electric car battery last between charges? The range varies from vehicle to vehicle. In the early beginning of an innovative shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf can last around 175km (109 miles).

Fast forward to today’s electric cars, Nissan has a new electric car that can be 460km (285 miles). The Kia EV6, Hyundai Kona, Volkswagen ID.3 tour can last up to 300-500km (186-300 miles) per a single charge. EV batteries have become more powerful and quite affordable in recent times.

Q: How much does it cost to replace an electric car battery?

The question, ‘How much does an electric car battery cost and how long does an electric car battery last before replacement’ are some of the major concerns many consumers have when trying to switch to battery-electric vehicles.

Several factors affect the replacement cost of an EV battery. As a result, you can budget to pay $0 to $35,000 to get an EV battery replacement. If the battery has not covered the warranty period of 5 to 10 years, the manufacturers will replace it at no cost. Tesla batteries are tagged at $20,000 to $35,000 for a full battery pack module.

However, battery replacements are still rare, making it difficult to get the exact cost of an EV battery replacement. Replacement cost also depends on the type of battery your vehicle is running on.

Q: What happens if the electric car runs out of battery?

Running out of battery in electric trucks and cars is not in the same similitude as running out of gas in ICE vehicles. In the event you run out of power, there’s only one option – tow the vehicle to a charging station.

However, electric cars won’t just run out of power without several warnings. Once the battery gets low, the vehicle computer will give the driver a head up. In some cases, the car will reduce propulsion power. Some vehicles will pop up the navigation system and guide you to nearby charging stations.

Q: Do electric cars lose range over time?

What happens to electric car batteries? Do they lose range over time? Electric car batteries are designed with the best chemistry composition. They are so powerful that even removed from cars, they can still be useful in solar-powered homes.

Regardless of the chemical composition used in manufacturing them, they lose range over time. However, the rate at which electric car batteries lose range is still unknown. Although, your charging habit and chemical compounds used in the production of EV batteries contribute to how fast the car will lose range.

Q: Should I charge my electric car every night?

Most electric vehicle consumers ask whether to charge their EV every night. First, understand that your electric vehicle battery is not a phone or laptop battery.

A straightforward answer is no. You shouldn’t charge the battery every night. Constant charging will cause premature degradation on the battery pack. Therefore, you should always follow the charging instructions on the vehicle owner’s manual.

Q: What problems do electric cars have?

The increase in the production and sales of electric cars will help in the fight against climate change. In most parts, EVs are better than internal combustion engines. Does it mean electric cars are problem-free? No.

Electric cars are not problem-free. They have problems as well. Although, these problems may not apply to every single unit to harass everyone. However, learning about them will help you make better-informed decisions. Let’s look at the problems of electric cars.

  • EVs batteries are manufactured with flammable components, which makes them riskier to fire outbreak
  • EVs have no guaranteed safety in the event of a fire outbreak
  • Electric cars are prone to be hacked since they are connected to the internet
  • Charger compatibility issues
  • Not suitable for frequent long-distance traveling
  • It takes up to 2 to 7 hours to charge batteries
  • Electric cars are costlier than their internal combustion engine counterparts
  • The cost of buying charging stations is quite costly.

Q: Do electric cars have transmissions?

Electric cars have a single-speed transmission. They don’t use a multi-speed transmission like internal combustion engine-powered vehicles because of the electric motor that powers them. While ICEs use multi gears and require different ratios for optimal driving experience, EVs generate a constant torque at any RPM within a specific speed range.

Q: Why are electric car batteries so expensive?

Electric vehicle batteries are the most expensive component in EVs. The main reason these batteries are so expensive is that the chemical compounds and other materials used in manufacturing them are quite expensive.

Most electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, like the ones on your laptops and smartphones. But the ones in EVs are larger and come with many cells, so they can provide enough power to run the motor efficiently.

Each cell in the EV battery uses an electrode called cathodes, which is very expensive. For the cathodes to pack enough power, they use expensive components called manganese, cobalt, and lithium. This shows that EV battery production is expensive, and that spells why they are costly.

Q: Can you jump-start an electric car?

If your electric vehicle is refusing to start, it could be the battery is running out of juice. Fortunately, you can jump-start them, but don’t use them to jump-start other cars.

Electric vehicles can jumpstart the same way we jumpstart internal combustion engine vehicles. Though, it is rare for an EV battery to die to the point of needing a jumpstart.

Final words

Electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry. They promise less emission pollution into the atmosphere. However, some of them are emission-free.  

While all-electric cars promise a cleaner environment, less noise pollution, lower running cost, no congestion charge, and increased resale value, still, the longevity of the battery remains a significant concern to users.

That is why users keep asking, how long does an electric car battery last? This article has provided sufficient answers on the longevity of an EV battery and you are ready to make an informed choice.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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