Batteries for Electric Cars | How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

With the increasing acceptance and growth in ownership of electric vehicles, users are increasingly seeking information on EV batteries which is a vital component of electric cars. Questions like; How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last? How much does it cost to replace electric car batteries? Which battery is best for Electric Car? Are topping search queries, and we’d answer all the important questions in this article, so read on.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

First, we must mention that the typical EV battery is designed for extended life. However, electric car batteries slowly begin to depreciate over time and will no longer store so much energy. This process is called “battery degradation” and leads to reduced energy capacity, range, power, and overall efficiency for the batteries.

The sad truth is that battery degradation is not easily predictable as they are varieties of EV battery companies. Furthermore, all brands perform differently with regards to how it is driven, charged and maintained. There’s good news though, modern Batteries for Electric Cars come with a minimum of 10 years warranty, while some will even go well beyond that before needing to be replaced. Most EV owner will probably sell their car even before they would need to replace the battery pack.

Some scenarios that have been observed to lead to EV battery degradation include;

  • Repeatedly driving down EV batteries close to zero range and then routinely charging it from low to full.
  • Continuously using the level 3/ DC Fast charging (DCFC) option.

To mitigate these two scenarios, some automakers suggest limiting DCFC and not making it a primary source of charge. Kia Motors, like most other EV makers, has said that “Frequent use of DC Fast Charging can harm battery performance and durability and they recommend minimizing the use of DC Fast Charging.”

Environmental factors can also harm EV battery performance. For example, continued exposure to extreme temperatures and, in particular, temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit will drop battery range. Using the car’s heater when in cold weather could temporarily drop your battery range by as much as 40%.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last

All you need to know about EV Battery Degradation

EVs’ Battery degradation doesn’t happen all at once. On average, modern Batteries for Electric Cars only lose about 1-2% of their range per year. New Electric Car Batteries are designed for durability and will probably outlast the usable life of the electric vehicle.

How much does it cost to replace electric car batteries?

As we’ve already mentioned, your electric car battery will probably outlast your EV. And with the advancement in EV batteries, battery life is guaranteed to keep improving in newer cars, and soon the issue of replacing EV batteries will become irrelevant. However, if you have an older electric car, the battery could eventually require replacing, and we’ll break down the process for you here.

Most EV batteries come under warranty, and if you are experiencing battery failure, it is recommended that you repair or replace them at a manufacturer-approved repair shop. Note that if you get services from a third party that the manufacturer does not approve, you may void the warranty and even expose yourself to substandard workmanship.

On the other hand, if your battery falls outside of the warranty conditions, don’t worry; some select dealers and service centers can repair or replace it for you. The cost of repairing/replacing EV batteries is determined by (1) the cost of the replacement battery and (2) the installation cost.

Cost of EV Battery Replacement

The key determinant of EV battery cost is the cost per kilowatt-hour of the battery. This cost is usually in the range of $100 to $300 per kilowatt-hour, as per the manufacturer. Below are some EV battery replacement price points for 2020:

EV ManufacturerEV Battery CapacityAverage Cost Per kWhTotal cost
Nissan LEAF40 kWh battery$137/kWh$5,500
Chevrolet Volt16 kWh battery$250/kWh$4,000
Chevrolet Bolt66 kWh battery$240/kWh$16,000

*Tesla is rumored to be producing their Li-ion batteries at $125/kWh.

The installation costs cover the labor and equipment required to install the new battery. The work usually takes 3-5 hours to complete, and the cost range is from $1,000 to $5,000.

Environmental impact of electric car batteries

Electric Vehicles being environmentally friendly and releasing zero emissions is one of the top-selling points and why most people buy them. Now, the question is, “are electric car batteries good or bad for the environment?”

EV batteries are renewable and can be fed back into the energy cycle for factories and homes. Repurposing EV batteries is already becoming a huge deal. Large car manufacturers are now showing interest in repurposing EV batteries for other areas. For example, Nissan plans to use retired EV batteries to provide backup power to the Amsterdam ArenA while Toyota plans to power outside convenience stores in Japan. This is a big deal, and it’s perfect for the environment; other EV manufacturers are also planning to follow.

Electric Car Battery Suppliers

There are numerous electric car battery manufacturers today. From the well-known EV battery companies like Tesla and Nissan to others like BYD or LG Chem. Even the lesser-known electric car battery suppliers like LG Chem supply electric vehicle batteries to the likes of Volvo, Renault, Ford, and Chevrolet.

BYD is China’s largest electric car battery supplier after doubling its sales in December 2020. The battery company is also working on battery storage of electricity for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

How much does it cost to replace electric car batteries

How far can one EV battery charge go?

Lithium-ion batteries for electric cars come in different sizes, and their capacity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), determines how far one EV battery charge can go. For instance, a typical 40kWh battery pack might be enough to power it for 150 miles or more.

Also, according to WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure), Tesla’s biggest 100kWh battery is good for 375 miles. WLTP was set up in 2017 to measure fuel consumption, CO2 levels, and other pollutant emissions from passenger cars. It replaced the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) and is now tasked with measuring the energy consumption values of electric vehicles.

Conclusion

Finally, to maintain a battery pack at peak performance and extend its life cycle, it is recommended to keep EVs charged to between 60% and 80%. Also, minimize fast charging and avoid extreme temperatures over long periods of time. With this in mind, you can now see how the Batteries for Electric Cars work and the best practices to ensure your EV batteries last long.

Sources

https://www.greencars.com/guides/definitive-guide-to-electric-car-batteries-range

https://www.edfenergy.com/electric-cars/batteries

https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_batteries.html