In recent years we have experienced a significant boom in electric cars in our society as we are encouraged to buy these types of cars before internal combustion cars as they are much more environmentally friendly. The problem with electric cars is that they are usually more expensive than a gasoline or diesel car, and this is largely due to the battery that these cars carry. The battery is the most expensive element of electric cars, and changing it can mean a lot of money, so it is logical to ask how long is the life of an electric car battery, here we will solve that doubt.
What is the lifespan of an electric car battery?
By shelf life we mean the estimated duration that a battery can have correctly fulfilling its function, that is, until it loses a percentage of its carrying capacity. It is also the time during which amortization of that component occurs.
In the case of electric car batteries, we have to do enough kilometers to be able to amortize it, because as we say it is quite expensive.
What is the lifespan of an electric car battery?
That said, the life of a battery is usually 8 years old, or put another way, some 150,000 kilometers. We can also measure it by load cycles, which are about 3,000. Still, car batteries have evolved, so some batteries have more capacity can last between 10 and 12 years (250,000-300,000 kilometers).
This does not mean that after this time, the battery of a car no longer works, but rather that its capacity decreases from 100% to 75%. In other words, the battery should have more life even if its performance is not the same as when we bought the car.
Why does an electric battery deteriorate?
Sure, we talk about a battery having a certain useful life, but why does the battery lose capacity?
What most influences a battery to deteriorate is the times it is loaded and unloaded. This process causes the battery to reduce the amount of charge it can hold and this in turn increases the time it takes to charge.
Regarding the load, using fast charging a lot reduces battery life. Although we think that it is the best solution because our car takes very little time to charge, we have to think that this causes the battery to lose its capacity. This happens because the more power the recharge has, the more heat will be generated in the battery, which will affect its performance. So, if we are going to use fast or super fast charging, it is best that we do it occasionally, for example if we have to make a very long trip and we stop to refuel.
Another thing that can make a battery last more or less are the temperatures to which it is exposed. If the battery is exposed to a lot of heat, especially in temperatures above 40 or 45 degrees, it will deteriorate much faster. It can also deteriorate if it is exposed to very low temperatures.
How can we increase the life of a battery?
We have already mentioned the things that can affect our car battery and although it is true that batteries do not require maintenance as such, there are several things we can do to extend their useful life.
Taking into account what we have explained in the previous section, the logical thing is that for the battery to last longer in good conditions, do not recharge it with fast charging or expose it to extreme temperatures.
What do we do to prevent it from deteriorating so much due to loading and unloading? The best thing is that we prevent the car fully discharged or charged up to 100%, it is best that we keep it between a 20% and 80% of its capacity.
Also, if we leave the car parked for a while because we are going on a trip, for example, the best thing is that let’s leave it plugged in and programmed to charge up to 80%. Charging time should not exceed two weeks.
Something else we can do to take care of the car battery is to change the coolant when it corresponds. Normally it is at 170,000 kilometers and from there, every 120,000 kilometers, but it is something that will depend on the manufacturer of our car.
Our driving can also influence the battery, the smoother we drive, the less battery wear.
How much does it cost to change the battery in an electric car?
If you have an electric car, you are interested in extending its useful life because batteries are expensive. In fact, depending on the manufacturer, the battery could exceed 5,000 euros, so it would mean a significant outlay to have to change it, and obviously if we talk about premium cars, the cost will be much higher. The good news is that some manufacturers offer warranties on batteries, but typically this warranty covers years when the battery is not likely to have any problems.
However, the most normal thing is that we don’t have to replace an entire battery. If it breaks down, it is likely that the only thing we have to change be some cells and not the battery completely, which greatly reduces what it can cost us.
Even so, it is no longer just the issue of batteries that may concern a potential buyer of an electric car, but perhaps the issue of the autonomy that these cars have can throw him back. Despite the fact that they are cars that do not emit CO2, we have to take all these things into account if we are going to buy them, because not everything is a bed of roses with electric cars. Without a doubt, these are things that have to evolve if we want more people to change sides and opt for electric cars.