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How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last + How To Prolong Their Lifespan

June 25, 2021

Electric car batteries are supposed to last for a long time

However, given the high cost of an electric car battery replacement, you might be wondering, how long do electric car batteries last?

If you’re looking for the answer to that question, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll discuss how long electric car batteries last and tell you how to prolong the battery life of your electric car. Later, we’ll answer six FAQs about electric car batteries to give you a comprehensive overview of this component.

This Article Contains:

Let’s get started.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

The exact lifespan of the battery would vary depending on the make and model of your electric vehicle (EV). However, batteries of most electric cars sold in the United States should last you at least 8 years or 100,000 miles.

With that said, given the advancements in battery technology, automakers are confident that their batteries could potentially outlive the usable life of your electric car.

However, this doesn’t mean that your electric car battery will provide the same range and charging efficiency in the seventh year as it did in the first. 

Why not?

Over time, the capacity of your electric vehicle battery pack will decline, similar to how a smartphone’s battery performance deteriorates. 

If that’s the case, is there a way to prolong your electric car battery life?

3 Practical Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Electric Car Battery

While it’s not possible to prevent battery degradation entirely, you can offset it and prolong battery life by following these three tips:

Tip #1: Avoid leaving your electric car at full charge or low battery levels for extended periods of time. Ideally, you’ll want to keep the battery charge level between 60% and 80%.

Tip #2: Fast charge your electric car only when necessary — like in emergencies or before a road trip.

Tip #3: Be mindful of the environmental conditions around your car. If it’s too sunny outside and you aren’t driving, park the electric car in the shade. On the flip side, if it’s too cold outside, and the electric car is not in use, keep it in the garage.

Now that you an idea of how to minimize battery degradation and increase battery longevity, let’s look at some FAQs that current and prospective electric car owners have:

6 FAQs About Electric Car Batteries

Here, we’ll answer six commonly asked questions about the electric car battery:

1. What Kind Of Battery Does An Electric Car Use?

Before we answer this question, let’s look at the type of batteries used in conventional fossil fuel cars (or internal combustion engine cars).

use rechargeable lead-acid batteries. Such a rechargeable battery usually generates around 12 volts and stores about 1.2 kWh of electrical energy.

In an internal combustion engine car, the primary use of the battery is to start your engine and power various vehicle activities. As a result, they use rechargeable lead-acid batteries that generate around 12 volts and store about 1.2 kWh of electrical energy.

But an electric vehicle, on the other hand, runs entirely on its rechargeable battery. 

Everything from the electric motor used to drive the car to all your vehicle accessories draws power from the battery. As a result, an electric vehicle would require a far higher battery capacity to be of practical use. 

For example, the Model S offers a Tesla battery pack option with 100 kWh capacity. That’s over 80x what a standard lead-acid rechargeable battery would store.

Imagine how massive a car’s lead acid rechargeable battery would have to be to store the same amount of electrical energy as the Tesla battery!

That’s why an electric car uses a Lithium ion battery (or Li ion battery) instead of traditional lead-acid ones.

A Li ion battery has a very high energy density allowing it to store more energy per unit volume. And this high energy density greatly reduces the size of the Li ion battery and the space needed to keep it.

2. What Is The Range Of An Electric Car Battery?

For an internal combustion engine vehicle, the range is determined by how much fuel you’ve got left in the gasoline tank.

On the flip side, for an electric vehicle, the range is primarily determined by how much kilowatt-hours (kWh) of battery life are available. As a result, the maximum range of the electric vehicle would depend on the total battery capacity (in terms of kWh).

Additionally, the make and model of your electric vehicle can influence the range of your EV battery pack.

For example, a small city car like the Smart EQ ForTwo (w/ 17.6 kWh battery charge capacity) offers about 90 miles of range. In contrast, a Tesla owner driving the sports car Roadster (w/ 200 kWh battery charge capacity) can expect to go around 600 miles on a single charge of their Tesla battery.

3. What Are The Factors Affecting Electric Car Battery Life?

The following two factors can significantly affect the battery longevity of your electric car:

A. Fast Charging

A fast charging or rapid charging point generally uses direct current (DC) chargers to charge your EV battery pack quicker. 

The problem with this approach is that a fast charging cycle can cause your electric car battery to overheat. The resulting elevated temperature can cause accelerated battery degradation, affecting your range and overall electric car battery life.

Essentially, while a fast charging or rapid charging point may help you charge your electric car quicker, it can have adverse long-term effects on battery health.

B. Extreme Climates

Extreme climates can impact your electric car’s battery life.

When it’s too hot outside, your car battery may undergo faster depletion. On the other hand, in bitterly cold climates, the ability of your EV battery pack to receive charge goes down.

Sure, you can’t avoid such extreme climates all the time.

However, exposing the electric car to such climatic conditions for too long can decrease battery performance and negatively affect the electric car battery life.

And, as with any other battery, the EV’s battery health declines as it ages. 

However, this decline is usually a slow and moderate process — so you don’t need to worry too much about battery health dropping with age.

4. How Much Does Electric Car Battery Replacement Cost?

Thanks to the advancements in battery technology, electric vehicle batteries tend to last very long. 

But, on the off chance that you’ll need a battery replacement, it’s good to have an idea of what to expect.

The cost to replace your EV battery can vary widely depending on the make and model of your electric vehicle. Moreover, the battery cost would also depend on the battery capacity of your electric vehicle.

To get a feel for the price ranges of electric car batteries, consider these figures:

On top of the battery cost, replacing the EV battery can also incur high labor costs, ranging from $500 to $2000 and beyond.

5. Does Warranty Cover The Electric Car Battery?

An EV battery pack replacement may seem prohibitively expensive. However, in many cases, you don’t actually need to pay for installing a new battery.

Why?

That’s because dead battery replacements are included in most electric car battery warranties.

Essentially, most electric cars come with an extended battery warranty, spanning 8 to 10 years or at least 100,000 miles. Additionally, in the United States, federal regulation states that an electric car must offer a minimum battery warranty of 8 years.

However, the terms and conditions of electric car battery warranties can vary across automakers, so be sure to read your owner’s manual carefully.

Some automakers may replace your electric car battery only in the case of a dead battery during the battery warranty period. Other automakers may offer you a new battery when the old one’s battery capacity falls below a certain threshold.

6. What Happens To Used Electric Car Batteries?

There are growing concerns about the impact of retired EV batteries on the environment. 

Many automakers have come up with innovative battery recycling solutions to manage retired EV batteries in environment-friendly ways.

The automakers help:

Closing Thoughts

The good news is that your battery could potentially outlive your electric car. 

However, a decline in battery performance is inevitable.

You can improve charging efficiency and prolong the battery longevity of your electric vehicle by adopting a few practical tips. For example, use your fast charging or rapid charging point less often and never allow the electric car’s battery to overcharge or completely discharge.

And, if you notice any significant drops in the range of your electric vehicle, there could potentially be some issues with the electric vehicle battery. 
When that happens, get in touch with manufacturer-certified dealerships, auto shops, or mobile auto repair services.