How Long Do Electric Cars Last?

Is it worth getting an electric company car - Downtown Electrical

How long can you expect your new electric car to last before you need to replace it? And how does it compare to petrol and diesel cars?

We all know that batteries wear out overtime.

The constant use, charging, recharging. It all takes a toll and eventually the battery stops operating at the same level and efficiency as it once did.

This is one of the reasons many people hesitate about buying an electric car.

Why spend thousands on a car when the battery is just going to decay from the moment you start driving it?

The fact is, it doesn’t work like this and there’s lots of myths around that EV batteries aren’t reliable.

In this blog we look at why electric cars can last for just as long or even longer than a petrol or diesel car.


How long do EV batteries last?

The lithium-ion batteries in electric cars aren’t the same as batteries you might find in some consumer goods like an iPhone, so don’t just wear down after a few years.

That kind of degradation isn’t acceptable in a long-term investment like an electric vehicle.

This is why electric vehicle manufacturers go the extra mile to make sure their batteries will last, using specially designed buffering and cooling systems to preserve the battery capacity.

The increasing ranges of electric cars also help to slow battery degradation, as they can hold charges for longer and don’t need recharging as often.

Car Magazine states that electric batteries are guaranteed to retain at least 70% of their capacity over a warranty period of up to 8 years, but they’re usually designed to last for at least 12 years or 1500-2000 charges.

The 30% degradation figure is a worst-case scenario, though, as it can take a long time for the battery to degrade that much.

You’re also unlikely to notice the effects of battery degradation on performance until it’s at around 80% capacity, when the car’s range decreases.

In the unlikely instance that your electric car’s battery degrades this much within several years, the manufacturer’s warranty should cover it for repair or replacement at no extra cost to you.

As EV technology continues to improve, electric car batteries are expected to last as long as 10-20 years.

Back in 2019, the director of Renault-Nissan Energy Services claimed that their research revealed a battery life expectancy of 22 years for the Nissan Leaf – a full 10-12 years longer than the expected lifespan of the car itself.

Since their batteries have such long lives, Nissan has been trialling ways to use them to store and supply energy for the national grid.

Even degraded electric car batteries are still better for the environment, as they can be used for renewable energy storage.


How many miles does an electric car last?

Of course, how long electric cars last depend on how much you drive them.

The more you drive, the more you’ll need to recharge, and frequent charging cycles contribute to the slow degradation of the battery.

This is why EV manufacturers specify a number of years or a number of miles in their warranties.

Most electric car mileage warranties are in line with warranties for petrol and diesel cars, which generally range from 60,000 to 150,000 miles.

These are the standard warranties from electric vehicle manufacturers, to give you an idea of the minimum their vehicles are expected to last:

EV manufacturer Standard warranty
Audi 8 years or 100,000 miles
BMW 8 years or 100,000 miles
Honda 8 years or 100,000 miles
Hyundai 8 years or 125,000 miles
Jaguar 8 years or 100,000 miles
Kia 7 years or 100,000 miles
Mercedes 8 years or 100,000 miles
MG 7 years or 80,000 miles
Nissan 8 years or 100,000 miles
Polestar 8 years or 100,000 miles
Porsche 8 years or 100,000 miles
Renault 8 years or 100,000 miles
Seat 8 years or 100,000 miles
Smart 8 years or 62,500 miles
Tesla 8 years or 120,000 miles
VW 8 years or 100,000 miles
Volvo 8 years or 100,000 miles

Data from Car Magazine.

As you can see, the most common warranty guarantees that electric vehicles should last at least 8 years or 100,000 miles.

If the average annual mileage for UK drivers is only 7,400 miles, one of these vehicles could last you up to 13.5 years.

Bear in mind that warranties can vary according to specific models, though.

For example, the Nissan Leaf warranty is a brief 3 years or 60,000 miles, while the Tesla Model S warranty is for 8 years with unlimited mileage.


How to make an electric car last longer

The answer to the question “how long will an electric car last?” depends not only on the electric vehicle model and battery size, but also your driving and charging habits.

Here are some things you can do to optimise your electric car’s battery capacity for as long as possible:

  • Only charge between 20% and 80% (only charge to 100% for long trips)
  • Don’t charge every day if you don’t need to
  • Avoid leaving your car plugged in on 100% charge
  • Only use quick or rapid charging when absolutely necessary
  • Always park in the shade to avoid the battery heating up too much
  • Don’t leave an electric car idle with a full or empty battery

Slow charging and avoiding overcharging and extreme temperatures can extend an electric car battery’s lifespan.

A great way to save money and charge your electric car appropriately is to get a home EV charger professionally installed.

The key takeaway is that if you treat an electric car right, the battery should last for at least a decade and a hundred thousand miles.

It’s likely that the battery will outlast the car itself, and that electric cars will outlast petrol and diesel.

Want to find out how you can save money and make your electric car last longer by installing an electric vehicle charging unit at your home?Get in touch with us today for a free no obligation quote.

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