How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

How Long Do EV 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. 

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. 

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

  1. If an EV battery is repeatedly driven down close to zero range and then is charged from low to full charge routinely

  2. 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 Definitive Guide to Electric Car Charging.

Environmental factors, such as continued exposure to extreme temperatures, also 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. It’s a good rule of thumb to take your daily driving needs and double them if you live in a cold climate. Make sure any BEVs you’re considering have at least this amount of range – just to be safe. 

In sum, it is recommended to keep EVs charged between 60% and 80%, minimize fast charging and avoid extreme temperatures over long periods of time.