- Alongside range anxiety, fears about battery degradation can make people think twice about buying EVs.
- Battery warranties give a good idea of how long an EV battery should last: often at least 8 years.
- Drivers can use best charging practice to keep their battery from degrading too much.
Widespread EV adoption has a few hurdles it still needs to get over. For one, there are the worries about EVs maybe having too-short ranges. Or there’s the fact that more than a third of surveyed adults don’t even understand how charging a car works. But then we also have to contend with concerns about an EV battery going kaput and costing an arm and a leg to replace. So to alleviate those fears as well, let’s take a look: How long does an electric vehicle battery last?
How Long Do EV Car Batteries last?
One hint to how long an EV battery lasts is the duration of the battery’s warranty. Here in the U.S., many automakers have a warranty that’s good for 8 years or up to 100,000 miles. Some car brands go above that, like Hyundai with a 10-year battery pack warranty. These warranties cover not only the complete failure of the battery pack but also guarantee against significant degradation.
Batteries do lose a fraction of their total capacity with each charge cycle, reducing the overall driving range of an EV. But at the same time, EV batteries are often “buffered,” where the drivers can’t use the full amount of power the batteries actually store and thus reducing the number of cycles a battery has to go through.
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that modern EV batteries will still definitely last past their warranty period. They calculate that the battery packs could easily last between 12 to 15 years if used in moderate climates. If you live in more extreme zones, you could expect a service life of around 8 to 12 years.
Yes, factors such as hotter climates will reduce a battery’s lifespan. However, EV manufacturers may include protective measures in their cars to improve battery life, like those battery buffers as well as cooling systems.
Can You Extend Your EV Battery’s Life?
You have several tactics you can deploy to keep your EV battery living its best life.
Use Best Charging Practices
For one, don’t let your car discharge all the way to 0%, at least as much as possible. And in that same vein, avoid charging up to full capacity when you can. Many automakers recommend that you charge up to about 85% to 90% for typical daily use.
You should also try to avoid using fast chargers too much. Chargers at Level 3 stations might cause your battery to overheat because it’s charging too fast.
Keep Your Battery Cool
Speaking of heat, try to keep your EV at moderate temperatures. This can mean just living in a more temperate climate, or it can mean making sure you park your EV in a garage or well-shaded area if you live in a hotter region. You can also make sure you get a car with a liquid-cooled battery system to maintain an overall lower operating temperature.
Your Battery Is Going To Be Just Fine
Sure, a little battery degradation can happen. But that loss is pretty minor, at just 2.3% per year. So if you have an EV with 150 miles of range, it would lose just 17 miles of range over five years. That’s not really going to make or break the EV-driving experience.
And if something does happen to go wrong? You’ve got that warranty to keep you covered.
IMAGE: ANDREAS DRESS
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