Category - Ev Chargers
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Paul Holdsworth, Engineer

26 Oct : Updated 26 Oct ● 6 min read

What is the lifespan of an electric car?

If you’re considering taking the leap towards a more eco-conscious future, then you’ll most probably have thought about purchasing an electric car. With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars set to be banned in the UK by 2035, making the switch to electric earlier might save you money when demand rises. 

What’s more, you’ll be making a lifestyle choice that not only benefits you by diminishing your fuel bill, but a choice that helps to tackle the rise in greenhouse gases, too. 

However, before purchasing an electric car, it’s good to do a bit of research to not only determine which one is best for your requirements, but also how your investment might pay off. 

This guide aims to break down the lifespan of an electric car, discussing the pros and cons, battery health and best practices, all whilst helping you make an informed decision. 

How long does an electric car last?

Typically, an electric car will have a lifespan of roughly 100,000 to 200,000 miles or about 8  to 15 years for the average road user. Of course, this number varies massively on how you use your car. Whether it’s everyday use, long commutes or weekend trips - the amount of mileage you rack up each year will determine the lifespan of an electric car.  

Another factor to consider that determines the lifespan of an electric car is the battery quality and usage. There are a number of best practices to bear in mind when using the specific type of battery that powers an electric vehicle (we’ll touch on this later). 

But first, let’s look under the bonnet. 

What are electric car batteries made of?

Similar to mobile phones, electric car batteries are made from lithium ion. Also known as a Li-ion battery, this type of rechargeable battery stores energy through the reversible reduction of lithium ions. 

Phone manufacturers place single lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in their products, meaning they last only a few years (so you buy the next top model), whereas the batteries in electric cars are built to last longer. 

These scaled up versions are a lot more durable due to how they are constructed, whilst the battery in your phone is a single battery, electric car batteries are a built up pack which is comprised of thousands of individual Li-ion cells working together.

How do batteries power an electric car?

Electricity is used to alter the batteries' chemical composition while the car is charging. These modifications are then reversed while the car is on the road to create electricity and power the vehicle. To reverse this, you plug it in. And so on. 

How many years do electric car batteries last?

As previously stated, the length of time your electric car is on the road is heavily determined by how you use it, how big the battery output is and how well you look after it. Typically, you can expect to get a lifespan of anything from 8 years to 15 years out of an electric car, provided you look after it and maintain steps towards a healthy battery. 

Rather than litres of fuel, an electric car’s capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), and similar to conventional petrol and diesel cars, electric cars vary in size. So depending on the size of car you opt for, whether it’s a standard 40kWh battery, or a 100kWh, this will determine the lifespan of your electric car, too.

How do electric car batteries work?

EV batteries undergo cycles of discharge when driving and charge when the car is plugged in. The electricity created from charging the car, when on the road, is converted to energy to get you from A to B efficiently.

Why does an electric car battery lose charge over time?

The greatest stress that can be put on a lithium ion battery is allowing it to deplete completely then charging up again. This process is known as a charge cycle and typically, Li-ion batteries have roughly 500 full charge life cycles in them. Once they have used up all 500 charge cycles, this is when the battery will start to deplete and the lifespan of the car will start to shorten. It is recommended that one way to preserve your electric car’s battery is to keep it between 25% to 75% charged when not in use and between 20% and 80% when in use and never allowing it to deplete all together. 

Basically, don’t wait until 1% to go grab your charger. 

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Need a home EV charger? Think BOXT

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Ways to make your electric car last longer

There are numerous ways in which you can ensure your car’s battery life is used to the best of its ability and doesn’t deplete faster than it should. First of all, understanding how they work is imperative to getting the most out of your electric vehicle.

Installing a home charger is one of the best ways to keep on top of your battery health, as you can retain autonomy and control over when and where you’re charging your car. 

It is best to use the car as soon as it’s charged, therefore, by charging at home you can determine when is the ideal time to plug it in should you need it for the day, or longer.  

Other methods to ensure your electric car battery lasts are as followed: 

  • Charge the battery only when necessary to avoid unnecessary stress
  • Keep the battery between 20% and 80% charge and never let it die completely
  • Charge the battery between 25% and 75% if you’ll be away, rather than leaving it empty or full

If you plan on going away for a while and don’t intend to use your car, don’t fret too much about the battery depleting. This is because an electric car will only lose approximately 2-3% of its charge a month whilst parked without being driven.

Discover whether cars lose charge when they’re parked in our previous guide. 

Replacing your vehicle battery

If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle battery needs replacing, don’t panic. 

In recent years, the price of replacing an EV battery has actually decreased, as consumer demand is starting to increase in favour of electric vehicles, manufacturers are working to make them more affordable and accessible to a wider range of customers. 

Replacing a battery will vary in price and availability depending on the make and model of your electric vehicle. Below is a table showing the typical lifespan and warranty provided by each EV manufacturer. 

Audi8 years/100,000 miles
BMW8 years/100,000 miles
Citroen8 years/100,000 miles
Fiat8 years/100,000 miles
Honda8 years/100,000 miles
Hyundai8 years/125,000 miles
Jaguar8 years/100,000 miles
Kia7 years/100,000 miles
Mercedes-Benz8 years/100,000 miles
MG7 years/80,000 miles
Mini8 years/100,000 miles
Nissan8 years/100,000 miles
Peugeot8 years/100,000 miles
Renault8 years/100,000 miles
Skoda8 years/100,000 miles
Tesla (Model S/X)8 years/150,000 miles
Tesla (Model 3/Y)8 years/100,000 miles
Vauxhall8 years/100,000 miles
Volkswagen8 years/100,000 miles

Change your carbon footprint by installing an EV charger at home

Broadly comparable to that of a petrol or diesel car, the lifespan of an electric car is nothing to worry about when making the switch to a greener mode of transportation. If you’re considering installing a charging point at home, then BOXT can help you. 

Not all electric chargers are the same, therefore, you’ll need to determine which to install at home or what to keep an eye out for when you’re charging your EV out and about. If you already have an electric vehicle and want to install a domestic socket, then try our Find An EV Charger tool.


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