So we’ve been talking about battery life on electric vehicles for a couple of years now. Here’s another industry professional, Autoweek, that’s getting at the detail and describing some of the facts about electric vehicle battery life. Do they degrade? Do they run out? Do they become unusable over time? How do you protect your battery life to make sure that it lasts a long time? Great article everything you need to know about things that affect your vehicle’s battery life and how to keep the battery in optimum condition.  

Let’s take a closer look at battery degradation and its causes. Look, if you have an electric vehicle, the battery is the most expensive and important part of the vehicle. Electric vehicles don’t have an engine like gas-powered cars, instead, it has a battery. Battery degradation in an EV is just like battery packs on cell phones or notebook computers. They start to degrade over time. Just like everybody here has a cell phone, your battery will wear out over a few years. Your mobile devices and your laptop computers have batteries that degrade; cars will do the same thing with electric vehicles. Why does it happen and how fast will it happen? That’s the question. 

Depending on the car extreme temperatures can mimic true battery degradation; hot and cold temperatures have similar effects by reducing range and slowing charging speeds. So, how do you preserve your electric battery pack? Here are some key things and keep this in mind. When you’re switching from gasoline to electric, park away from extreme weather and temperatures, extremely hot and extreme cold. Well, if you live in let’s say the Northeast or the South or the Southwest, you can’t avoid weather so you might have to park in a garage. Maybe if you can protect it from the most extreme temperatures that’ll help, if you have a chance to park your EV someplace out of the elements. Extreme temperatures reduce battery performance and they can also degrade the lifespan of the battery. Try not to leave the car plugged in and fully charged every time. 

What that means is in order to keep the battery lasting a long time, don’t top it off. Like when you go to a gas station to fill up your car you top off your tank so you can have the most range. Batteries are happiest in the middle-charged state. Repeatedly operating at the top or bottom can cause damage. So don’t top it off to maximum, also at the bottom end completely emptying the battery can cause problems. So if you have a 200-mile range on your car try not to plan your trip for 200 miles, plan for maybe 150 so you’re not draining it out to zero. Another reason you don’t want to cut it close is that you want to watch your charging speeds. Using the fastest charger you can isn’t the best idea just because it’s convenient. Yes, you can get back to up to full charge, but ramming as much power to your battery causes wear and tear and can lead to premature failure. We did a video a couple of weeks ago where one of the manufacturers will actually void your warranty if you do fast charging three consecutive times without doing a slow charge in between. So, if you’re going on a long trip, you might think well, I can drive 200 miles plug it in blast the battery back to full drive another 200 miles blast it to full. You may want to back off on that a little bit. The same goes for discharged speech repeatedly using launch controls or high speed can damage the battery quickly and eventually degrade the battery capacity. 

So how long do EV car batteries last? That’s a big question. Well, most new electric vehicles have a warranty that’s eight years or a hundred thousand miles. But it’s not a guarantee that you’ll have eight years of trouble-free operation Some manufacturers’ warranties carry stipulations on battery condition or operation so it’s important to understand the warranty. As we said, some manufacturers will say, you can’t use fast charging over and over or if we see that there’s any kind of operation that’s outside of the owner’s manual it might void the warranty. But most batteries should have a life expectancy of at least a hundred thousand miles before showing noticeable signs of degradation. So if you have a battery that has a 200-mile range after a hundred thousand miles it might come down to maybe 150-160. Most of the warranties guarantee up to 70%. So if you only have an 80% reduction, they may consider that not to be a warranty claim yet. 

So it’s not so much access to plugin chargers, it’s how long you have to stay there to charge up. And you can’t charge too fast too often because it may void your warranty. So these are good reasons to keep track of your potential use of an electric vehicle to make sure that your battery life is maintained and monitored. And if you’re buying a used electric vehicle and make sure that you test it beforehand to make sure the battery isn’t already run down to where you’re not going to have any life left.