One of the early concerns that the public might not embrace EVs was range anxiety, but that has mainly subsided as many new electric vehicles provide range figures that are comparable to those of gas engines. Although there are more important considerations like charging speeds and charger availability, customers still wonder how long their new EV will last. Their main concern is the battery. Because EVs have been on the market for a very short period of time, many customers are unaware of the costs associated with replacing an EV battery, in contrast to gas automobiles, which have well-known problems and repair costs.
The government and automakers have pushed to extend EV warranties, which is excellent news for new owners. Most new models are expected to last as long as their gas-powered counterparts. You’ll learn about EV battery lifecycles, how to prolong battery life, and how much a replacement will cost in this article. Now let’s get going.
What materials go into making electric batteries?
The batteries that power computers, cell phones, and other electronic gadgets are the same materials that are used to make batteries for electric vehicles. Batteries normally comprise lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt, while several businesses have created alternative chemistries. Although different batteries and car types may employ different ratios of those components, the fundamental building blocks remain mostly the same. Due to the negative environmental effects of removing cobalt, automakers are striving to engineer the material out of their batteries. When solid-state batteries do become available, the EV supply chain will be even more altered.
What is the lifespan of EV batteries?
According to a Zebra poll conducted last year, Americans own cars for an average of eight years. The good news is that most EVs should have a useful life of eight to twelve years, and they come with substantial battery warranties. For electric vehicles, manufacturers must offer a minimum of an eight-year/100,000-mile guarantee, and EVs sold in California must have a ten-year/150,000-mile battery warranty.
How long do EV batteries last?
Over time, EV batteries can weaken for a number of reasons, not all of which are associated with driving. Even when they are not in use, EV batteries eventually run out of power, much like that old Nokia phone you dumped in a drawer fifteen years ago. Early on, automakers issued cautious advice, stating that batteries could deteriorate as soon as five years after the automobile was purchased, but those cautions now appear exaggerated. According to industry research firm Recurrent, capacity drops of five to ten percent after five years are common, translating into a 20 percent decline over the warranty coverage period.
In addition, frequent DC fast charging could deteriorate batteries more than gradual charging. The majority of automakers advise against using Level 3 or DC rapid charging, which is a feature that many new EVs have, in order to avoid early capacity loss. Kia estimates that eight years of DC rapid charging will result in a 10% loss. However, a number of factors, including how well the vehicle’s battery preconditioning system functions, contribute to that degradation.
Weather has an impact on battery life, albeit depending on the circumstances, these effects may only last temporarily. Range is lost in cold conditions, and charging can happen much more slowly. Using the climate control systems on the car can accelerate battery depletion, with some cars experiencing a 40% reduction in battery life. Extreme cold may impair the performance of devices such as regenerative braking and make charging much more time-consuming. Though some modern EVs come equipped with preconditioning programs and heat pump systems that warm the battery before charging, the truth is that living in the cold can occasionally make owning an EV inconvenient.
Similar effects are produced by warm temperatures, however with potentially irreversible damage. Battery preconditioning systems can help prevent some of that loss, but the differences in degradation between cars with robust battery management and those without can be minor over time.
How can I stop the deterioration of my EV battery?
Avoiding fully charging or draining your EV’s battery is one of the finest things you can do to keep it maintained over time. Try not to discharge the battery below ten percent, and refrain from charging it to greater than eighty or ninety percent unless you really need the extra range.
It also aids in controlling the temperature to which your EV is exposed. To avoid overheating, park in a covered garage or a cool spot if at all possible. Since many versions allow you to control the battery temperature while it charges, leaving it plugged in can also be beneficial. As you prepare the cabin for heat or air conditioning, that might also assist you manage your range. Plugging in does not mean leaving your car on a DC fast charger, which is not only rude to other people looking to charge but can cause faster degradation over time.
Can EV batteries be replaced?
Yes, is the succinct response to this. EV batteries are replaceable. It can cost up to $20,000 or more depending on the model, while many plug-in hybrids use smaller, less expensive batteries. Although the price per kilowatt-hour fluctuates, some estimates have it at $500 or higher. The good news is that as technology advances, battery costs are declining, perhaps bringing prices down to less than $200/kWh in the near future.
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