What You Need to Know About EV Battery Longevity

August 23, 2023 13:11:58

The average electric vehicle battery is designed to last 15 to 20 years before moving on to secondary applications. Still, it can reach its end of life earlier or later depending on EV driver habits. If you are looking to transition to an electric vehicle for the first time, you are likely curious about how you could maximize EV battery range and longevity.

Since buying a vehicle is the second largest purchase most Americans will make in their lives, maximizing the battery’s longevity will be key to minimizing vehicle-associated costs. Fortunately, electric vehicle manufacturers themselves are incentivized to design durable and long-lasting EV batteries.

EV manufacturers are also providing warranties that guarantee an average of at least 70% of the battery’s original capacity after around 100,000 miles or eight years. Additionally, taking care of an EV battery is relatively simple. Most new EV models come equipped with state-of-charge and intelligent temperature management to guide drivers on the most optimal charging levels.

EV drivers can also practice responsible fast-charging practices to avoid damaging their battery packs prematurely. With the addition of some basic battery-management science, drivers can leverage in-built vehicle technology and intelligent charging practices to maximize the longevity of their EV batteries.

This includes understanding the effect of extreme temperatures on EV battery packs. Hot temperatures limit your EV battery’s overall range and increase the risk of overheating while cold temperatures hamper the battery’s ability to store and release electricity. Cold temperatures also make batteries less efficient because they charge slower and have to expend more energy keeping the battery and vehicle interior warm.

Temperature extremes can also damage your EV battery over time and permanently limit its maximum capacity as well as its life expectancy. In-built technologies, including coolant lines and optimal temperature systems, ensure that EV batteries remain in the optimal ranges. Parking your electric car in the shade during hot days can protect it from the perils of extreme heat.

During cold weather, you can also prewarm your battery and the vehicle interior while the EV is still plugged in to reduce energy waste on heating. Avoid charging your EV to 100% and letting it run to 0% to prevent damaging the battery. Most EVs are equipped with technology for maintaining a healthy state of charge.

Finally, you will also want to avoid regularly fast charging your EV battery. While high-powered fast charging can be quite convenient, it causes an accumulation of lithium ions on the anode and results in a phenomenon called ion plating. Charging your EV overnight using private home chargers or over several hours using Level 2 chargers is the best way to maintain your EV battery’s performance and range over time.

As battery technology improves, the public is likely to embrace EVs more, and manufacturers such as NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) are likely to see their sales accelerating as the years go by.

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