How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last? Understanding EV Battery Life

Posted on June 28, 2024

With more and more electric vehicles (EVs) accelerating onto roads in Ireland, one of the most common questions asked by EV drivers and those looking to make the switch to electric is: “How long do electric car batteries last?”

Well, this depends. The lifespan of EV batteries depends on many different factors. And it’s important for drivers to understand these when it comes to managing expectations on the road, and when calculating the long-term costs and benefits of owning an electric vehicle.

Here, we’ll look at what exactly impacts EV battery life, and offer tips and advice for keeping your battery charged.

Understanding Electric Car Batteries

Unlike traditional engines, electric engines are powered by lithium-ion cells, which form together to create what is known as the battery pack. This battery pack, which can vary depending on the make and model, is usually found along the floor in an electric vehicle.

The capacity of an EV car battery is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and this decides the vehicle’s range; or, put simply, the distance it can travel on a single charge).

Average Lifespan of Electric Car Batteries

Electric car batteries tend to last between 10 to 20 years, on average. After this they will need to be replaced. But this can differ based on a number of different things, including the battery technology, the make and model of the vehicle, and battery capacity.

Electric car ireland

Most manufacturers of electric cars will guarantee their batteries for around 8 to 10 years (or up to 160,000 kilometres, whichever comes first).This guarantee means that the battery will maintain at least 70% of its original capacity over that time.

What Affects EV Battery Life?

So what affects the longevity of your electric car’s battery? Several internal and external factors play a part in deciding your car’s EV battery, including:

Charging Habits
Frequent use of rapid charging can degrade the battery faster than regular, slower charging methods.

Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, can significantly affect the health and lifespan of an EV battery. Which makes Ireland’s milder, temperate climate well-suited for battery longevity.

When Regular DOC Just Doesn’t Cut It
If you find yourself needing to drive someone else’s car more than just occasionally, you might need to tweak your insurance setup.

Your Driving Habits
High mileage and repeated, hard acceleration can strain the battery compared to moderate driving.

Battery Management Systems (BMS)
Modern EVs come with advanced battery management systems (BMS). These help to keep your battery in tip-top shape by regulating temperature, voltage, and other elements that keep the battery working safely, and in the correct range.

Tips to Extend EV Battery Life

Battery Maintenance
Although EVs require less maintenance than conventional cars, it’s always a good idea to keep your electric vehicle in check with regular services diagnostic checks to preempt battery issues. 

Charging Habits
Not allowing the battery charge to drop below 20%, and regularly charging to 80% instead of 100% can help maintain battery health.

ev battery life

Protect From Temperatures
If possible, try to park your EV in a shaded or covered area, or in a garage to protect the battery from changes in temperatures.

Replacing and Recycling Your EV Battery

When an electric car battery reaches the end of its life, it doesn’t just stop working; its capacity to hold a charge gradually reduces over time.

So, if you notice a change in your vehicle’s performance then it might be time to replace the battery. And while a replacement can be costly, most manufacturers provide warranties that can help take the sting out of changing the battery.

You can find information on how to recycle an electric car battery at the WEEE Ireland website.

In Ireland, there are also several government incentives in the form of grants and tax-back to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles. These are designed to offset the initial costs associated with owning an EV and battery replacement.

With both of these things in mind, the long-term benefits of continued EV usage can outweigh the short-term costs of replacing a battery or initial purchase.

Do you need reliable insurance protection for your electric vehicle? KennCo provides affordable third-party fire & theft and comprehensive insurance cover that you can trust. Contact our team today on 01 409 2600, or click here to get a fast online quote.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last? FAQs

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