Electric vehicles have emerged as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered cars. Yet, an important concern for prospective EV buyers is whether electric cars lose range over time. This blog explores the lifespan of electric cars and addresses concerns about range degradation over time.
Do Electric Cars Lose Range Over Time?
Indeed, electric cars do lose range over time, and this also gives rise to EV range anxiety. On average, their annual range tends to decrease by about 2.3%. To put this into perspective, let’s consider a 150-mile range electric car – over the course of five years, it typically loses around 17 miles from its initial range. At this rate, the batteries in electric vehicles are likely to outlast the practical lifespan of the vehicle itself. However, the extent of this range reduction varies depending on the unique make, model, and production year of each electric vehicle.
Research on EV Battery
In the year 2020, Geotab, a company specializing in fleet telematics, conducted an extensive data collection effort. They focused on gathering information related to vehicle location, driver behavior, engine diagnostics, and overall vehicle activity.
Their research involved compiling real-world data from a substantial fleet of 6,300 electric cars, amounting to a staggering 1.8 million days’ worth of data. This comprehensive study encompassed a diverse array of 21 distinct vehicle models, collectively representing 64 different makes, models, and production years.
So, what did Geotab’s research uncover regarding the decline in electric car battery range over time?
If you happen to acquire an older electric car, it’s expected that the battery has undergone some level of deterioration. Nevertheless, this reduction in range is typically quite minimal and is unlikely to significantly impact your daily commuting needs.
On average, a lithium-ion battery is projected to lose roughly 2.3% of its charge-holding capacity each year. While this 2.3% figure serves as a general guideline, it’s worth noting that the degree of battery degradation can fluctuate based on a particular manufacturer, model, and production year of the vehicle. After learning that electric cars lose range over time, let’s also explore the lifespan of an electric car.
What is the Lifespan of an Electric Car?
The lifespan of an electric car can vary due to factors like usage, maintenance, climate, and adherence to EV charging tips. In general, electric vehicle batteries typically endure for 10-20 years. However, certain factors may shorten their lifespan. For instance, batteries may degrade more quickly in hotter climates because high temperatures are not favorable for electric vehicles. After this, let’s find out how long an electric car lasts before recharging.
How Long Does an Electric Car Last Before Recharging?
How long an electric car can last before recharging varies depending on the specific vehicle, its battery’s state of charge, your driving behavior, and even the weather conditions. On average, as of December 2022, the typical electric vehicle (EV) has a range of about 348 kilometers (216 miles). It’s important to note that the electric car range is influenced by multiple factors.
For instance, the Lucid Air currently boasts the longest range among EVs, with an estimated real-life range of approximately 516 miles under moderate driving conditions and climate. This range can vary based on factors like driving speed, temperature, and the use of electrical-powered features like heating or air conditioning.
Conversely, one shortest-range electric vehicle Mini Cooper SE has a relatively limited range of just 114 miles, after fully charging.
Overall, the electric vehicle range has been increasing over the years, with newer models offering extended ranges. This is largely due to advancements in battery technology, which have made batteries more powerful and affordable.
Do Electric Car Batteries Lose Range Linearly or Suddenly?
Now that you know electric cars lose range over time, you might be curious about whether their batteries experience a linear or sudden decline in range.
Well, it’s highly unusual for an EV battery to fail abruptly. Battery degradation is a gradual process influenced by various factors:
- Time: Over time, an EV battery’s ion power diminishes, weakening its performance and range.
- Mileage: Frequent charging cycles accelerate lithium-ion battery degradation.
- Fast Charging: While fast charging doesn’t always cause rapid battery deterioration, it can increase temperature stress, affecting internal components and reducing battery life.
- Temperatures: While hot temperatures suit EV batteries, prolonged exposure can harm them. Extreme cold or heat can also slow charging and reduce overall range. Importantly, most electric cars can be charged at any charging station.
How to Reduce Range Loss Over Time
Electric cars inevitably experience a reduction in range over time due to battery deterioration. While complete prevention of this degradation may not be possible, there are strategies to minimize it and reduce range loss over time:
1. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines
Adhering to the EV charging rules and specific battery performance recommendations and keeping your vehicle’s software up to date is crucial. Each EV manufacturer employs a unique combination of battery chemistry and cooling methods, resulting in distinct optimal operating and charging instructions.
2. Avoid Discharging Below 20%
To extend the battery’s life and ensure sufficient energy for your journeys, avoid driving your EV with less than a 20% charge.
3. Limit Charging to 80%
For everyday commuting and errands, charging your battery to 80% is usually more than adequate. Steering clear of a full 100% charge can benefit lithium-ion batteries. You can adjust the maximum charging limit through your EV’s onboard charger.
4. Reduce Fast DC Charging
While occasional use of direct current rapid charging (DCRC) is acceptable, minimizing its frequency can reduce battery degradation over time. Fortunately, EV Connect offers various charging stations, offering multiple efficient options for your vehicle. Regular use of your EV has a minimal impact on battery degradation.
5. Drive at Moderate Speeds
Gentle acceleration is vital for maximizing battery lifespan. Consistent, smooth acceleration helps maintain the battery’s charge over time, resulting in fewer charging cycles and a lower risk of electric vehicle battery degradation.
6. Maintain Moderate Temperatures
Lithium-ion batteries perform best within the temperature range that humans find comfortable. If the weather is too hot or cold for your comfort, it’s likely not ideal for your EV either. On hot days, consider parking your vehicle in the shade or a garage to maintain a moderate temperature.
In the world of electric cars, range longevity is real, not a myth. Although EV batteries degrade over time, it is typically manageable. With proper care and adherence to best practices, owners can ensure their vehicles continue to deliver impressive mileage for years, thus reaffirming the sustainability and value of electric mobility. To access more EV content, keep browsing our blog posts.
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