What is the average electric car battery lifespan? It’s difficult to provide a figure as there are various different forces at play that determine how long an electric car battery will last. Naturally, a key factor is the manufacturer of the battery, but you also have to take into account your own driving habits. Someone that uses their car for hours a day is likely to see a shorter lifespan on their battery than someone that drives less frequently.
As electric cars become more popular, more questions arise relating to things like batteries. So, we’ve created a guide to electric car battery life, telling you everything you need to know, starting with a pressing question:
What are Electric Car Batteries Made of?
The majority of electric car batteries are made from lithium-ion. You may recognise this as the same stuff that household batteries are made from. Other devices also use this style of battery, and the reason they’re in cars is that they’re very light, easy to install, and can be recharged over and over again. As you can imagine, this is everything an electric car manufacturer could hope for in a battery.
The downside to this is that, much like other lithium-ion batteries, they will get weaker over time. It is believed that you will be left with only 80% of the original capacity after 8 years of regular use.
How Long do Electric Car Batteries Last?
Clearly, this is the big question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Many drivers are so paranoid about electric car batteries failing that it stops them from making the switch. Much like a mobile phone, an electric car battery will go through periods where the battery discharges and is used up – this will be when you are driving the car. Similarly, it goes through periods where the battery charges – when you stop and plug it into a charging station.
Repeating this cycle over and over again will eventually change how much charge the battery can hold. Again, it’s not too dissimilar from how your mobile phone suddenly loses charge much quicker than it did when you first bought it. In an EV, the difference means you will need to drive shorter distances before your car has to be charged, which can impact your daily life.
The vast majority of electric vehicle producers will have a warranty of 5-8 years on their batteries. Having said that, recent reports suggest that your battery can actually last upwards of 10-20 years before it should be replaced. When you compare this to a petrol vehicle, the likelihood of you keeping an engine in great shape for that duration of time is slim at best!
How can you Make your Car Battery Last Longer?
The above life expectancy figures are industry averages and predictions, so how do you ensure that your battery is closer to the higher end of the scale?
- Keep the state of charge between 20-80% – Effectively, this is the battery percentage that your car should always be between. Letting it drop too low can be bad for the lifespan as it means more effort is required to charge it. Too high and you risk overcharging, which causes a chemical issue in the batteries that could make them deteriorate faster.
- Avoid rapid charging – While helpful when you don’t have much time, rapid charging can degrade the battery faster than slower charging. Try to plan your trips so this isn’t necessary all the time, saving it for rare occasions.
- Protect your car from the heat and cold – If you expose your car to extreme levels of heat or coldness, it can damage the battery and reduce your range. Keep it protected in extreme weather conditions to extend the battery life!
How Much Does an Electric Car Battery Cost?
The exact price of a battery will depend on its capacity, which dictates the range of power level of the motor it supplies. So, the bigger the battery, the more expensive it will be. If you need to replace your battery, you are going to pay somewhere around £135 per kWh.
While this might sound a lot, consider that this price has dropped dramatically since 2010. In fact, some reports believe that we could see the price decrease further to around £75 per kWh by 2030. This is all thanks to advancements in technology, making it cheaper to construct electric car batteries.
Electric Car Battery Replacement
Your electric car battery will likely last around 10 years – possibly touching 20 if you follow the tips outlined previously. This means that the majority of people won’t ever need to consider replacing their batteries before buying a different car. However, if your electric vehicle does need a battery replacement, you should contact a qualified engineer that can handle things. Your old one will be removed, and a brand new one will be put in its place. It’s the same as replacing a car engine, only less complicated, so the actual cost of the service will be more affordable.
Also, if this happens within the warranty period, you can get your replacement battery for free from the manufacturer.
Electric Car Battery Recycling
Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars are notoriously hard to recycle. As such, you can’t take one to your local recycling plant and dispose of it there. Instead, the best approach is to contact the manufacturer and see if they will take the battery back. Some car manufacturers are reusing old batteries in different projects or finding ways to safely recycle them. It is hoped that, as the electric car industry grows, more lithium-ion batteries will be recycled, and it will be easier for car owners to recycle them.
Contact EV Solutions If You Need a New EV Charging Station
The key to prolonging your car battery’s life is by keeping it at a reasonable state of charge. To do this, you need a reliable EV charging station at home or in the office car park. Contact us today, and we can set you up with a brand new EV charging station wherever you’re located.