How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

The battery in your electric car is designed for extended life. However, electric car batteries will slowly begin to lose the amount of energy they can store over time. This phenomenon is called “battery degradation” and can result in reduced energy capacity, range, power and overall efficiency.

Battery Degradation

Unfortunately, battery degradation is not easy to predict. Not all brands perform the same, and every vehicle is different in how it is driven, charged and maintained. On the bright side, it’s not uncommon for modern EV batteries to last more than 10 years and some will go well beyond that before needing to be replaced. The average EV owner will sell their car long before they would need to replace the battery pack.

It’s important to note that battery degradation has been known to worsen in a couple of scenarios:

  • If an EV battery is repeatedly driven down close to zero range and then is charged from low to full charge routinely
  • If an EV battery is continually charged at Level 3, also known as DC Fast Charging (DCFC)

As such, some automakers suggest limiting DCFC and not making it a primary source of charge. For instance, Kia Motors suggests, “Frequent use of DC Fast Charging can negatively impact battery performance and durability, and Kia recommends minimizing use of DC Fast Charging.” To learn more about charging, please visit the section on Electric Car Charging.

Environmental factors, such as continued exposure to extreme temperatures, will impact battery performance and may lead to degradation. In particular, batteries don’t perform very well when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s really cold and you’re using the car’s heater, your range can temporarily drop by as much as 40%.

To maintain a battery pack at peak performance, it is recommended to keep EVs charged to between 60% and 80%, minimize fast charging and avoid extreme temperatures over long periods of time.