Electric vehicles are the future of driving. Not only are they sleek looking but they are also environmentally friendly and easy to use. Yet, many people are apprehensive about the longevity of the batteries and the range of EVs.
With newer and more advanced technologies in play, you needn’t worry. Electric cars have longer ranges than ever before, and their batteries have quite the lifespan. This means that you may get more out of your electric vehicle than what you will get out of your petrol car and more than you will get out of your diesel car.
At the beginning of this year, Tesla Model S was at the top of the EV market with an100kWh battery and a maximum range of about 393 miles. That’s more than you can get out of any petrol car at the moment. Of course, Tesla tends to be the more expensive electric car so you can choose to go down in price with the Nissan Leaf, Honda E or any other electric car for that matter.
Electric vehicle battery life
So what about an EVs battery life? Larger batteries have larger capacities meaning you can drive further with one charge, and the larger the battery, the longer it will last.
Most electric vehicle batteries are lithium-based. A lithium battery will lose capacity every cycle. A cycle occurs every time it charges to full and begins to lose charge. This will cause your car to experience decreasing range and in the long run, it will be impractical to drive as it will always need to be charged and the battery may be too expensive to replace in an older model car.
Factors that reduce battery life
Four main factors can drastically reduce an EVs battery life. These factors increase the number of times you have to charge your battery which in turn reduces your battery life even more. These factors are:
Overcharging causes overheating which in itself is a problem. But it is also harmful because of the chemical changes it causes inside the battery. Overcharging causes internal resistance to build up, and when critical resistance reaches a critical level, the battery is useless.
Heat, be it from high ambient temperatures, the heat generated through charging or heat from keeping the battery at a high-voltage, reduces the capacity of a lithium battery.
3. Deep or complete discharge
It is recommended that you avoid a drastic discharging of your electric vehicle’s battery. This means that you essentially should not charge it to 100% then let it drain before you recharge it. Ideally, you should operate your battery at 85% to about 45%. Staying in the range of below ninety and above thirty will give you the best battery life and the most use of all your charges.
4. High discharge or fast charging your battery
High discharge happens when there is a one-off pull on the battery. For example, in Tesla Model S, you can exploit the battery power to take the car from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds. This mode is called ludicrous mode and usually in the Tesla, if you activate it, you will get a warning that it will negatively affect your battery’s lifespan.
Fast charging negatively affects your battery life because of the high voltage of power. Regularly doing this may help you use your car more frequently, but it will ensure you won’t be using it for long.
Range of an electric vehicle battery
There are many different EVs in the market, all with varying capacities of battery. To give you an idea, here is a list of some of the current EVs and their battery capacity ranges:
- Nissan Leaf e+ – 239 miles
- Tesla Model 3 SR+ – 254 miles
- Renault Zoe – 245 miles
- Tesla Model 3 LR -348 miles
- Jaguar I-Pace – 292 miles
- Kia e Niro – 281 miles
- Vauxhall Corsa e – 209 miles
- BMW i3 120Ah – 182 miles
This, of course, is the range of a fully charged battery with a gentle driver at the wheel. If you choose to speed or drive recklessly, you will get much less mileage than this.
The longevity of an EV battery
The longevity of an electric car battery is not merely a question of range but also of how long the battery itself will last. How many times can you charge it? How many months or years are there on an EVs battery?
The answer to that is not simple; it could be 500 charges or three years of use. Each car has a different battery capacity which means a diverse range and thus a different amount of times you can charge it. How many times you can charge the battery is also dependent on how well you use the car. Lithium batteries degrade with time, but improper use and poor charging practices will speed this process along.
Although there is no set number of charges that is known as the maximum amount, electric cars come with warranties; most between 7 and 10 years and averaging 100,000 miles. This means you can rest assured that your battery will be operating at around 70% capacity after 100,000 miles.