The Truth About Battery Degradation

The Truth About Battery Degradation

Battery degradation doesn’t happen all at once. On average, today's electric car batteries only lose about 1-2% of their range per year. New EV batteries are designed for durability and will outlast the usable life of a vehicle.

What You Need to Know

Thanks to lithium-ion batteries, we all enjoy the ability to recharge everything from smartphones and laptops, to the latest electric cars. Degradation over time means that the battery pack will lose some of its ability to hold a charge over time. There are a few things that you need to know about extending the life of your battery that will keep it in good condition for the long haul. First and foremost, you should never "over charge" them.

When keeping an electric car charged, it is best to only charge them to 80% of the battery's capacity. Likewise, don't run a battery down all the way to zero as that can damage them. Overcharging is the number one reason that battery packs degrade quicker. Another thing to remember is that EV batteries hate to be frozen. It's best to keep electric cars in the garage in winter months when outside temperature are in the sub-freezing zone.

The biggest take away we want you to get from this article is that EV battery degradation is really nothing to worry about. If we look at the Tesla S model battery, researchers have found that traveling 500,000 miles on the original battery should not be a problem. Just because the battery degrades does not mean it is not drivable; it simply loses some of its range and charging efficiency.

In blog posts, Tesla model S owners have noted that approximately 95% of the battery retains its battery function during the first 50,000 miles. A 5% battery degradation could equal 20 miles of range. Oddly enough, the battery only degraded another 5% during the next 100,000 miles. So, 150,000 miles resulted in a total average of 10% total battery degradation. Typically, you wouldn’t need to consider replacing your battery until degradation reaches 50-65%.

What's Coming

A new generation of lithium-ion electric car batteries are on the horizon that could last millions of miles. Another solution for battery degradation is new technology known as the Solid-State battery that is reported to offer enormous capacity. We're talking EVs with a driving range of over 1,000 miles and recharge times of just five minutes.

In the meantime, battery degradation in today's battery electric cars is really nothing to concern yourself with. Automakers typically offer battery warranties for eight years or 100,000 miles on new cars. Plus, battery degradation is a very slow process and it is very likely that you will sell or trade your EV in long before loss of battery function becomes a problem. According to a recent survey, the average EV owner only notices a 2% battery decline after three years of driving and a 7% decline after six years on the road.