How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?
At the heart of every electric car is its battery. It’s a critical component, so it’s no wonder one of consumers’ top questions is, “How long do electric car batteries last?”
While most manufacturers place a 5-8 year warranty on their EV batteries, the truth is those hardworking batteries realistically are expected to last much longer. Production estimates say electric vehicle batteries should last 10 to 20 years. However, many are lasting longer.
Over the last decade, Nissan has sold thousands of its Leaf EV vehicles, yet the company reports only having to replace a handful of batteries.
While the need to completely replace an electric vehicle’s batteries might be infrequent, Car and Driver noted “an electric battery will likely lose its ability to fully charge over time.”
EV Design Includes Additional Capacity
With this in mind, EV manufacturers make sure there’s additional extra capacity to make up for the degradation of the battery over time. As the car ages, the vehicle range remains the same because the additional spare capacity is being used. However, once capacity falls below 80%, experts say drivers may notice reduced range and performance of the battery.
Electric vehicles traditionally use lithium-ion battery packs made up of numerous individual cells connected as one large unit. A drawback to the lithium-ion design is that heat and lithium-ion don’t go together well.
Research has shown that cars in warmer climates experience faster battery depletion. To counteract that, EV designers have equipped most electric vehicles with a liquid-cooled battery pack.
MyEV notes that “if properly cared for, an electric car’s battery pack should last for well in excess of 100,000 miles before its range becomes restricted.” They added, “Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, which is nearly 17 years of use if driven 12,000 miles per year.”