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    Electric vehicle batteries

    Electric vehicles and their environmental advantages are becoming an increasingly popular option over petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. This is because Electric vehicles are also currently much cheaper to run in the long term than other fuel alternatives. However, one the most common questions people want answered before making the decision to purchase is how long does an electric vehicle battery last?

    It is common for batteries to deplete over time, and most people experience this already through their phone and laptop batteries. So, in this article, we investigate how long an electric vehicle battery lasts.

    How do electric vehicle batteries work?

    Fully electric car batteries do not just use one single battery. Electric vehicle batteries are made up of a cluster of lithium-ion batteries that store energy. These rechargeable batteries are similar to those used in laptops and mobile phones. They work well for vehicles because they offer fast charge and are efficient in storing energy. Lithium-ion batteries can go through thousands of charging cycles while still continuing to hold a charge.

    When you accelerate, the electric battery instantly feeds power to the motor, which gradually consumes the energy and charge stored in the batteries.

    Do EV batteries worsen over time?

    As with most battery-powered items, the batteries will worsen over time, much in the same way your phone battery does. EV batteries lose efficiency over time as they are charged and discharged, which means they won’t hold the same capacity of power as they did when they were new.

    However, because of the way modern electric vehicle batteries are made with a cluster of battery cells, EV batteries should have a good capacity even after years of use.

    How long does an electric vehicle battery last?

    Average electric vehicle batteries may lose approximately 20%-30% of the battery’s capacity after eight years of daily use. On average, the lifespan of an electric vehicle battery is anywhere between 10-20 years depending on the climate. Colder temperatures can affect the battery life span and you will therefore need to charge the vehicle more frequently.

    However, as battery technology improves as more electric vehicles are produced and developed, the better the battery life on new EV’s will be.

    Although a loss of around 30% range may seem wasteful, this is a worst-case scenario. Most EV’s can manage high mileage and still hold a decent charge. Many batteries can last for over 1500-2000 charge cycles, making them an ideal vehicle for most commuters and businesses. Once the batteries are too damaged for use, they can then also be re-used as storage for renewable energy.

    Are batteries covered under warranty?

    If you are experiencing issues with an electric vehicle, most manufacturers provide a warranty, typically lasting around 8-10 years or around 100,000 miles. This means if you purchase an electric vehicle for your business fleet or yourself, the battery will be covered under warranty unless it is damaged by something you or one of your drivers have caused.

    What else can impact an electric car's battery?

    If you constantly drain the battery and then recharge it to 100%, this can contribute to the deterioration of the electric vehicle battery. The same happens if you allow your vehicle to run to 0% battery. However, most manufacturers have set their vehicles not to charge to the full 100%. Instead, many electric vehicles only charge up to 85% to preserve the battery.

    How you drive can also affect the batteries lifespan. Accelerating harshly to often can contribute to battery wear. As mentioned, regularly driving electric vehicles in colder temperatures can also impact the battery and vehicle performance. The cold temperatures slow the process of the battery and reduce the maximum driving range, but this is only in extremely low temperatures.

    Can you replace an electric vehicle battery?

    You can easily replace the battery if your vehicle is under warranty. However, if you need to replace the battery outside of the warranty it can be expensive. Currently, the average cost to replace a battery is around £4,000. However, as more mechanics are trained on replacing EV batteries, this price may reduce, especially after the 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

    As with any new technology, once electric vehicles become more advanced, the better the batteries and other electric vehicle technology will be. EV’s have come a long way since they were first introduced and are becoming much more widely available. If you have or are considering a fleet of EV vehicles for your business, contact our team of experts for a fleet insurance quote and we will be happy to advise on how to protect your battery from damage.

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