Do Electric Cars Lose Range Over Time? (Explained)

Car owners wonder whether electric cars are more reliable than conventionally powered vehicles.

This article covers all the basic aspects related to the EV car’s battery life, charging, and cost.

We also made a list of affordable electric cars with good range, that you might want to check first. Having a good range, to begin with, is the most important factor when choosing a good electric car.

Let’s dive in.

What type of battery is used in EV cars?

The EV cars use a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.

It is a rechargeable battery that is not only used in electric cars but in a variety of devices. The basic properties of a lithium-ion battery are that the metal is of the lightest weight and it has additional energy density than other standard rechargeable batteries.

These two significant features help the battery makers to conserve a little space, resulting in a smaller battery pack in total.

How soon do car batteries start to offer less range?

As EV vehicles rely on the battery, most people that are considering making the switch to EV are concerned about battery life.

Just like the battery of a smartphone or laptop, you get the maximum life of the battery when the device is new.

Over time, the battery loses its ability to hold a charge and eventually needs a replacement. Just as the batteries of these electronic devices deteriorate and become less efficient over time, the same can be expected from an EV car.

That said, as you can see here – small electric cars often have very high range!

It is important to know that almost all rechargeable batteries lose capacity through time and use, even if they’re taken care of really well.

Most EVs are built to ensure that their battery life and capacity are generous enough for a decade.

The efficiency of a battery, which can be called the range of the vehicle in simple words, will inevitably degrade over time.

 Recent statistics reveal that many electric car batteries last for around 10 to 20 years.

The decrease in the range is relatively minor, ranging from 1.9 to 2.2 percent per year.

This implies that if you buy an electric car now with a range of 150 miles, you’ll only have lost roughly 17 miles of usable range in the next five years.

According to Recurrent, a company that analyzes more than 6,800 linked vehicles in the United States and provides used EV car data, each electric vehicle decreases range differently, despite being from the same manufacturer or year.

Do electric cars have backup batteries?

We addressed this in a separate article.

Read here whether some electric cars have backup batteries to help you get going when you run out of power.

Do electric car batteries lose range linearly or suddenly?

It is extremely unusual for an EV car battery to fail unexpectedly.

The battery of an electric vehicle degrades gradually and has numerous factors that affect electric vehicle battery life. Some of the main elements are discussed below:

Time

This is one of the primary constraints that has a direct impact on the life and range of the EV car’s rechargeable battery. With the passage of time, the EV car battery loses the power of its ions and becomes weak.

Mileage

Another imperative aspect of the degradation of EV car battery life is the frequency of charging. The more charge cycles a lithium-ion battery does, the greater the degradation of the cell.

Fast charging

This constraint of fast charging does not always lead to rapid battery deterioration, although the higher temperature stress might harm the battery cell’s internal parts.

The degradation of the battery allows fewer ions to travel in between, resulting in reduced battery life.

And very important fact: You can typically power your electric car at ANY charging station.

Temperatures

Hot temperatures are suitable for EV car batteries, but extended exposure to heat can harm the battery life.

Additionally, extremely cold or hot environmental conditions might decelerate the EV’s charge rate and possibly reduce its total range.

How many years do electric car batteries typically last?

There are some major players in the market that are manufacturing EV car batteries. It doesn’t matter if you buy a cheap EV car or a high-end electric vehicle; the battery provider might most probably be the same.

The popular EV car battery manufacturers are Nissan and Tesla, which have been considered the most reliable EV car battery manufacturers.

To date, they have been providing a satisfying battery life in their electric vehicles.

It has been claimed that an 8-year-old Nissan Leaf battery has only degraded by 20%.

The table below lists all the popular electric car brands with their battery warranty, which eventually explains their battery life.

Brand EV car battery warranty
Tesla (Model S/X) 8 years/150,000 miles
Hyundai 8 years/125,000 miles
Tesla (Model 3/Y) 8 years/120,000 miles
Audi 8 years/100,000 miles
BMW 8 years/100,000 miles
Citroen 8 years/100,000 miles
Fiat 8 years/100,000 miles
Honda 8 years/100,000 miles
Jaguar 8 years/100,000 miles
Mercedes-Benz 8 years/100,000 miles
Mini 8 years/100,000 miles
Nissan 8 years/100,000 miles
Peugeot 8 years/100,000 miles
Renault 8 years/100,000 miles
Skoda 8 years/100,000 miles
Tesla (Model 3/Y) 8 years/100,000 miles
Vauxhall 8 years/100,000 miles
MG 7 years/80,000 miles
Kia 7 years/100,000 miles

The other EV car manufacturers like Renault, Volvo, Chevrolet, and Ford are importing their EV car batteries from the not-so-popular Korean supplier LG Chem.

Another Chinese brand, BYD, is also providing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for the auto manufacturing industry.

It is also China’s largest electric car maker, which has been exporting more battery-powered cars since the year 2019.

The auto industry is offering a great battery warranty for its EV car customers, Tesla and Nissan has been the initial sellers of EV cars, with the Tesla Roadster in 2008 and the Nissan Leaf in 2010, respectively.

How much does it cost to replace the batteries on electric cars?

One of the major concerns of EV car buyers is the cost of battery replacement.

It is one of the rare situations in which a battery may be required to be replaced outside of warranty.

At the moment, the typical replacement cost of an electric car battery is approximately $6,000, which makes it the most costly part of the electric car.

However, if a battery replacement is required for an EV car and the vehicle is out of warranty, it is recommended that you get it done from an authentic dealership that deals in the original Lithium-ion battery approved by the manufacturer.

Do electric car batteries last longer today than 5-10 years ago?

Lithium-ion batteries get weak overtime, even if they are not in use. It is the same as cellphones or laptop devices losing efficiency over time as they remain even when out of use.

To figure out the 5 to 10-year-old battery life, we have plenty of data available. Examining how the oldest EV cars on the road operate now gives us the greatest indicator of lithium-ion battery life. The Nissan Leaf debuted in 2011, so we have years of data as many of those batteries are still in use.

Nissan has even claimed that data collected from 0.4 million Nissan Leaf cars indicates that even the oldest batteries should last 22 years.

The Tesla Model S is another long-running electric vehicle. It debuted in 2012, so battery researchers have a ton of information.

Tesla statistics predicted that in the initial phase of 25,000 miles, the EV car battery would degrade quickly. However, after that, there was a significantly slower decay until 175,000 miles.

The current statistics have already suggested that the electric car batteries are going to last around 10 to 20 years because the technology has been upgraded and the engineering of the lithium-ion battery has made it more efficient, reliable, and powerful in the last decade.

 

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