How Long do Electric Batteries Last?

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Although there are countless benefits of driving an electric car or a hybrid, a major concern for all future buyers is the cost to replace EV Batteries.


How do electric batteries work?

The electric batteries in cars contain a lithium-ion battery, same as the Li-ion battery in a mobile phone.

How to use an EV battery to its optimum use?

Lithium-ion batteries are most prominently used in mobile phones, that assure you don’t run out of your battery in between your work or leisure. Though, after a couple of years, the li-ion battery of your phone is likely to run out before your dinnertime. Mobile phone batteries are designed like that, car batteries are a different matter altogether. Mobile phones are made to last for around a couple of years. Most of the people expect it to run for a couple of years as well. But in the case of EV batteries, they are usually expected to last for at least well over a decade. Mostly because of how we use cars, and how much they cost.

The process: 

The most efficient way to keep your EV battery work well, in the long run, is to use it to its full capacity and then re-charge it to its full capacity. But just keeping it empty and not recharging it when the battery is empty can jeopardize the life of an EV battery in the long-term. Due to this, most car manufacturers don’t actually let their users use the battery to its full capacity, they have a non-usable buffer battery stock. To explain it more clearly; suppose the battery gets to 0%, it doesn’t actually get to 0%, companies have a buffer battery stock, let’s say, in this case, it’s 15%, so in reality, 15% battery will still be remaining in the buffer stock of the battery when the battery runs out. Similarly, this has an upper limit as well.

Suppose, a battery is charged a 100%, its not actually charged 100% but say, a 90%, in this case. This helps in increasing the life of EV batteries in the long-term. It helps complete recharge cycles in excess of thousands, compared to hundreds when there’s no buffer stock.

The market leaders in the EVs and EV battery market:

The market for Li-Ion batteries is promising, as it is projected that the companies are going to invest as much as $550 billion dollars by 2050.

Just like a lot of technological fields, this field is also dominated by the Japanese. In fact, two of Japan’s leading car companies; Toyota and Panasonic plan to set up a joint venture in 2020 that will indirectly also include Mazda Motors, Daihatsu Motor, Subaru, and Honda Motor, which are indirectly linked to either of these companies.

How much does it cost to replace an EV battery?

The cost to replace an EV battery can be compared to the cost of replacing a combustion engine. It is present in traditional fossil fuel-run cars. But the difference is that more often than not, a combustion engine lasts for the lifetime of a car.

Although a combustion engine usually has a warranty of around 5 years from a company. The warranty for an EV battery is, on an average, around 8 years, or 100,000 miles. Warranty time for 8 years is a long period. But it is meant to help buyers be more confident for the lifespan of the car. But actually replacing it out of warranty can cost thousands of dollars.

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