How long does an electric car battery last?4 min read
You have just acquired an electric car and you may have many questions about its lithium -ion battery and its lifespan . Indeed, several elements must be taken into account to determine the longevity of an electric vehicle battery . Caroom takes stock through this detailed article
lithium ion technology
Let’s start with the basics, which is how the battery works. All electric cars on the road today are powered by the lithium-ion battery , due to its remarkable charge density, but also its ability to recharge faster.
Know that cells form the battery. Each of these cells is made up of a positive electrode, called the cathode , and a negative electrode, the anode . The whole thing is submerged in an ion-conducting liquid called an electrolyte . But then, what happens inside these cells?
When the battery discharges
When the battery works or discharges, a chemical reaction is activated at the level of each cell. Electrons move from the cathode to the anode. But at the same time, lithium ions are moving from the anode to the cathode.
And when the battery charges
When the battery is charged by an electrical source, the movement of electrons is in the opposite direction. The same is true of the movement of lithium ions.
As long as the lithium ions are able to cycle back and forth, the battery will continue to function. But this transfer will take place more and more slowly over the charges and discharges , hence the gradual loss of battery life.
Have no fear for the battery of your electric car, it will not let you go by surprise.
What durability for electric car batteries?
It is difficult for the moment to determine the average lifespan of electric vehicle batteries, because the technology is not going to stop there! The duration is sure to improve. On the other hand, you can already rely on the guarantees (number of years and kilometers) provided by the car manufacturers when you purchase or lease the battery . These range from 8 to 10 years , or approximately 160,000 km .
If age is usually the unit of measure of life of a device, this is not the case with a lithium-ion battery. You can rely on mileage, but that is not enough to know the battery life of electric vehicles. Circumstances on the road and driving style also affect mileage.Here are some models of electric vehicles marketed in France with their respective warranties:
What factors affect the life of electric car batteries?
There are many factors that will activate the aging of electric vehicle batteries. Let’s analyze them in order of importance.
charging and discharging
These repeated actions, if not well controlled, will accelerate the wear of the lithium-ion battery. Certain precautions must therefore be taken, such as:The smaller the batteries are, the less they will last. This is explained by the fact that a small battery will undergo more recharges and discharges, which will deplete it more quickly . Here is a concrete example:On the other hand, if you are traveling in a 35.5 kWh Mini Cooper SE with a range of 220 km, you only charge the car a maximum of 3 times.
Too high temperatures
Excessive heat will irreversibly reduce the capacity of the battery . Hence the importance of avoiding them as much as possible. To preserve the battery of the electric car , it is thus necessary:
If the use of the electric car turns out to be much less polluting than that of its thermal counterpart, the process of manufacturing and assembling its battery poses a problem. Despite the many questions about the recycling of battery components, more and more initiatives are emerging. So when the batteries no longer provide the necessary level of performance, they will get a second life .
A second life
Stationary storage remains a good way to recover unusable electric car batteries. The system consists of adding the batteries to a charging station, in order to store the energy produced by the solar panels. It’s cheap electricity to charge electric vehicles!
And new technologies
Although lithium-ion technology is not yet at its end, new technologies are already emerging to top it. These include the “ solid battery ”. Using the same principle as the previous batteries, the all-solid battery has however chosen a solid material as the electrolyte. Its design then dispenses with expensive metals. Furthermore, it has the advantage of reducing the weight and even the price, while improving the autonomy of electric vehicles . Manufacturers Volkswagen and Toyota have already moved towards this technology for first production by 2025 .
The main thing to remember
As you will have understood, it is quite difficult to tally the life expectancy of an electric car battery with the incessant developments. Fortunately, these new technologies are moving in the right direction, which promises a bright future for electric mobility !