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 of 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. A good range is the most important factor when choosing a good electric car.

Here’s How Electric Cars Lose Range Over Time:

Electric vehicles lose around 1-2 percent of their range every year. The lithium-ion batteries installed in electric vehicles are durable enough to outlive the vehicle itself. These lithium batteries are present in almost every electrical device with a battery, such as smartphones and laptops.

What Type of Battery is used in EV cars?

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

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

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

Although these lithium-ion batteries are durable, overcharging the battery can significantly impact the battery’s range in the long run.

For instance, in the Tesla Model S, experts observed that the battery degradation is 10% for every 150,000. We have more here on how quickly Teslas lose range.

According to car brands, a battery replacement isn’t required until the degradation reaches up to 60-70%. A new generation of these lithium-ion batteries can cover thousands of miles without degradation.

Even though electric cars lose some range over time, EVs still offer more range than gas-driven cars on average.

How soon do car batteries start to offer less range?

We have a dedicated article about exactly how fast electric cars starts to lose range.

As EV vehicles rely on the battery, most people considering switching to EVs 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, you can expect the same from an EV car.

As you can see, small electric cars often have a very high range!

It is important to know that almost all rechargeable batteries lose capacity over time, even if they’re taken care of 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 about whether some electric cars have backup batteries to help you get going when you run out of power.

When should you expect to replace the battery?

Many manufacturers give a 5 to 8-year warranty on the EV battery. Still, new electric vehicle batteries have efficient batteries for up to 10-20 years – if the vehicle is getting proper maintenance and isn’t suffering weather issues.

Knowing how to identify weak battery signs can help preserve the battery’s original lifespan.

For instance, a vehicle’s battery, if drained to complete zero, will degrade faster than a vehicle’s battery that undergoes shallow discharges.

Experts say that electric vehicle owners should not charge the battery up to 100%, so let it charge to 80% and then discharge it.

The recharge should happen before the battery reaches zero because it will affect the battery’s performance otherwise.

EV batteries do not degrade easily if kept under optimum conditions. A battery can spend an average of 8 years running before it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Keeping the battery empty for too long will affect its performance and the entire EV’s efficiency.

Elon Musk, the owner of the car brand Tesla, reported that the batteries under development at Tesla would be able to give the upcoming EVs a lifespan no shorter than 15 years with maximum range and performance.

We have another article about how long a Tesla will last.

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:


This is one of the primary constraints that directly impact the life and range of the EV car’s rechargeable battery. Over time, the EV car battery loses the power of its ions and becomes weak.


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.

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


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 reduce its total range.

Read also: 15 affordable electric cars with HIGH range.

How many years do electric car batteries typically last?

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

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

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, also provides 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 offers a great battery warranty for its EV car customers; Tesla and Nissan have 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 EV car buyers’ major concerns is the battery replacement cost.

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

Currently, the typical replacement cost of an electric car battery is approximately $6,000, making 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 batteries on new electric cars last longer than 5 years ago?

The batteries on the new EV should last well past the 5-year mark.

The degradation of an electric vehicle battery is affected by:

  • Atmospheric temperatures
  • Cycles
  • Time
  • Weather temperatures
  • Other factors

For instance, the temperature of the area where the vehicle is parked and the electric vehicle’s operating temperatures impact its battery’s lifespan.

As the battery goes through regular charge cycles, it’s bound to lose its maximum potential.

Irregular charging also affects battery degradation. Although smartphones and laptops run on lithium-ion batteries, the batteries installed in electric vehicles also work via complex management systems, also known as BMS.

These management systems regulate the charge and discharge cycles of the battery. If the electric vehicle’s battery doesn’t undergo temperature degradation, as mentioned above.

It will most likely experience calendar degradation – the process that comprises all battery aging processes that lead to degradation.

Calendar aging is important in electric vehicles because operating intervals are significantly shorter than idle ones.

There are also other issues and possible dangers with electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries get weak over time, even if not in use.

It is the same as cellphones or laptop devices losing efficiency over time as they remain even when out of use.

We have plenty of data available to figure out the 5 to 10-year-old battery life. 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 claimed that data 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 the EV car battery would degrade quickly in the initial phase of 25,000 miles. However, there was a significantly slower decay until 175,000 miles after that.

The current statistics have already suggested that electric car batteries will 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.

We also have an article about whether electric cars lose battery while parked.

Can electric car batteries be upgraded?

Battery upgrades allow electric vehicles to perform better without sacrificing any range.

Manufacturers around the world are offering battery replacements on the market.

Another problem is that battery sizes and areas in an electric vehicle might differ from others, so it’s very difficult to perform a battery upgrade.

Due to their design, electrics built in a vehicle only work for particular power output. That is why many battery replacements cease to work properly or immediately fail.

If a vehicle with the capacity for varying battery sizes is bought, it might be easier to upgrade the battery.

Many car brands, such as Volkswagen, are manufacturing electric vehicles with three different battery sizes that give the consumer the option of a battery upgrade. Smaller batteries offer lower ranges than bigger batteries. Upgrading to a bigger battery might add more range to the electric vehicle.

Tesla allows its consumers to upgrade the vehicle’s battery online. That is because Tesla vehicle batteries can already upgrade.

The online upgrade probability will soon become mainstream in the car industry, but it’s evident that the battery which comes with the vehicle works best for the vehicle itself.

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