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EV Battery Degradation – How long does an EV battery last?

It’s well known that EV drivers enjoy cheaper motoring than petrol or diesel drivers, not just thanks to advantageous electricity prices compared to fuel cost, or lower rates of vehicle tax, but also when it comes to servicing and maintenance. There are some common myths and misconceptions surrounding EVs however, which Tusker is myth busting one by one, and today, we focus on the myth of EV batteries not lasting very long.

How long will the battery last on an EV?

In short, a very long time, if not longer than the car itself and there are many reasons why this is the case. By law, the UK Government requires that all EV batteries have a warranty period of at least 8 years and 100,000 miles from new. This is a lot better than the warranties usually found on internal combustion cars, which is usually around 5 years and 60,000 miles. With the average car in the UK enjoying a lifespan of 11 years before it is recycled, which means that the battery is warranted for more than 70% of the average car’s lifespan. But, better still, with manufacturers such as Tesla reporting that there are nearly 40 Tesla’s on the UK’s roads with more than 200,000 miles of driving on their original batteries, the proof of battery longevity can be seen in the real-world.

Do they lose capacity with time?

Battery degradation does occur over time with lithium-ion batteries, but it’s a very small amount. Thanks to the very sophisticated battery management systems found in EVs, which exist to prolong the life of a battery, the average EV battery pack has been found to lose a maximum of juts 2.3% of its range per year, and usually much less.

Does using my EV a lot increase how fast the battery degrades?

The great news for EV drivers is that unlike an internal combustion car, how much you drive your EV has very little effect on the rate at which the battery will degrade, so you don’t need to worry about using it as much as you want to.

What can I do to look after my EV’s battery?

There are a few simple steps that you can take to minimise any negative effects on your car’s battery, without using your car any differently.

  • Don’t always rapid charge if you can avoid it. Rapid charging is fine for your EV when you need it, but if you can use slower charging methods at times when you aren’t using the car, for example while you are parked overnight or at work, this will help to maintain your battery’s peak condition for longer.
  • Avoid charging your EV to 100% every time you charge it. This may sound daunting, but in fact, if you make regular short journeys, then charging your EV to 80% capacity rather than 100% will help keep any degradation to a minimum, without affecting your daily or weekly driving patterns. You can then charge to full before a long journey, where you know you will need the vehicle’s full range.
  • Keep your battery topped up and avoid running it down to zero. In fact, as your vehicle will give you a lot of warning before a battery gets too low, and as there are many apps such as Tusker’s partner Zap-Map which show you your nearest charging point, anywhere in the UK, its very rare for an EV to actually run out of charge. This is great news, as running your car to 0% charge can place a lot more stress on the battery, and its best avoided. Keeping between 20 and 80% charge in your car will see your battery keep its peak condition.

Overall, anyone who claims that EV batteries don’t last, is mistaken. Tusker has been helping drivers into brand new, clean, safe and environmentally friendly EVs since 2011, and our experience of the thousands of EVs we have managed over this time period tells us that in reality, EV batteries are built to last. If you want to know more about how an EV could change your life for the better, then get in touch with one of our independent experts today.

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