How long Does An Electric Car Battery Last? Full Guide to EV batteries

Pro EV Staff

Electric Car Battery

A key concern many drivers have when considering switching to an electric car, is the lifespan of the battery and the potential cost of replacement. 

 

The good news is that electric vehicle (EV) batteries have a significantly longer lifespan compared to the batteries found in internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. This means that the majority of EV drivers need not be overly concerned about the expense of replacing the battery. 

 

In this guide we’ll delve into the typical lifespan of EV batteries, tips to extend their longevity and the costs of replacing. 

How Long Do EV Batteries last?

Electric car batteries are designed to have a significant lifespan, typically lasting around 10 to 20 years or between 100,000 to 200,000 miles of driving. 

In practice, an EV battery can last much longer than this. The US electric taxi company Tesloop has reported having cars with battery packs that have lasted over 300,000 miles with only 10% of degradation

When the battery degrades, the biggest impact will be on the vehicle’s range , determining how far it will travel on a single charge. It shouldn’t have an impact on other aspects of the vehicle’s performance such as acceleration.

Tips to extend the lifespan of your battery:

As with most things, understanding how best to care for your battery will help your battery last longer. Follow these tips to help preserve the life of your battery. 

  • Only charge to 80% and avoid letting the battery fall below 20%
    When an EV battery is fully charged or fully discharged, it puts stress on the battery’s electrodes and electrolyte. Keeping your battery in this sweet spot of charge will help minimise the stress on the battery, which will maximise its capacity and performance over time.
  • Use rapid chargers sparingly
    Fast charging can be convenient when you’re on a longer journey, or losing battery while on the road. However, frequent use of rapid chargers can accelerate battery degradation. Whenever possible, try to use slower charging methods like charging at home or while you do your supermarket shop to preserve the battery’s health.
  • Minimise exposure to extreme heat.
    Batteries tend to degrade more quickly in temperatures above 40 degrees celsius. This will rarely be an issue in the UK climate, but where possible store your car in a garage or a shaded spot during the midday sun during the summer. While electric cars tend to have reduced range during colder weather – cooler temperatures are not known to accelerate battery degradation

  • Keep your car at 25 – 50% of charge when storing for a long time
    If you plan to store your EV for an extended period without using it, avoid storing it with a fully charged or completely depleted battery. Instead, aim to keep the battery’s charge level between 25% and 75% (according to Kia) or 20% and 50% (according to Renault).

    Most home chargers allow you to set a minimum and maximum charge level – which should help keep it at the optimum percentage.

Costs of Replacing an Electric Car Battery

Most electric car batteries come with lengthy warranties, often around 8 years or 100,000 miles. During this time, most manufacturers will replace the battery free of charge if it falls below 70% of its capacity. 

 

With that in mind, when purchasing a brand new EV, replacing the battery and its cost shouldn’t be much of a worry. However, it may be something to think about when buying a used electric car.

 

The average cost of an electric car battery in 2021 was approximately £87 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This means replacing the battery in a Nissan Leaf or Kia Soul, which feature 40kWh batteries, would cost around £3,480 before fitting costs. It would cost around £5,000 to replace the battery in a Tesla Model S. 

 

When buying a used electric car, it is a good idea to check whether it is still within its warranty period. Spending a little more on a newer EV that has a few years left in warranty, will likely be more cost effective than buying a slightly less expensive one that is not. Plus, given the rapid advancement of EV technology, once the battery fully gives out it may be better to replace the entire car instead of just the battery. 

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