Amongst the largest concerns of prospective buyers considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) is the issue of how long the batteries that power them last for. Along with “range anxiety” – a term given to owners of electric cars who fear that they will run out of power during their journey – the way electric batteries can potentially degrade over a period of time is an aspect that raises a question mark over EV ownership.
Just like other batteries powering laptops and smartphones, the batteries for electric vehicles in extended use will lose some battery capacity over time. Let’s explore why this occurs and suggest some ways you can ensure your battery stays operating at optimum for as long as possible.
Why do EV batteries lose their charge?
Nearly all batteries fitted in EVs are lithium-ion. This type of battery undergoes discharge cycles while you’re driving your vehicle and then charges when it is plugged in. Naturally, over time, these cycles will have an impact on the quantity of charge a battery is able to hold, which will then affect the distance your electric car is able to cover before it needs to visit a charge point.
Caring for your EV’s battery
While it might seem strange, ensuring your electric vehicle always has a maximum charge can damage its lithium-ion battery, due to the heat caused while it recharges. For this reason, some EVs are specifically manufactured to halt charging when capacity is achieved, while others enable owners to charge up to a particular percentage to assist in preserving battery life. By the same token, draining your battery charge to empty is also unwise. Most EV batteries operate best between 50 and 80 percent charge.
Electric car battery life
Car manufacturers are aware of these buyer concerns regarding the longevity of EV batteries leading many to create warranties designed for Electric car owners. The Nissan Leaf warranty covers both battery and motor for 60,000 miles or a five-year period, while Tesla includes a battery warranty for eight years with no mileage restrictions with its Model S.
If you buy from a dependable automaker and recharge correctly, you can ensure you get the longest lifespan from your battery and the maximum return on your investment in an EV.