A lot of people are buying electric cars right now, and there are a variety of models available. There are, however, a lot of things that people who get these vehicles don’t know about them. When you take the time to learn the facts, you can avoid making a decision that you might later regret.
Electric Car Batteries
First you will need to understand the basics of electric car batteries. These vehicles use lithium-ion battery packs. It is kind of like what you have in your laptop or phone, except much larger with a bigger capacity.
Electric cars do not use lead-acid batteries like traditional vehicles that have combustible engines. They do not lose their charge quite as easily, which is always a plus. These battery packs have a number of cells that are all tied together. Some of these cars have hundreds of cells, while others have less.
How Long does an Electric Car Battery Last?
Anyone who purchases an electric car will automatically get a warranty for the battery that lasts at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. There are some manufacturers that offer slightly longer warranties. For example, Kia gives their customers a 10-year warranty on electric car models.
You will need to keep in mind that some automobile manufacturers will only honor the warranty if the battery doesn’t work at all. This is actually pretty uncommon. Volkswagen, Tesla, Nissan, Chevrolet and BMW are willing to give you a replacement if the battery won’t charge past 60 to 70%.
Most of these batteries last for about eight years, which is why this is the standard length of the warranty. If you take the proper measures, you might be able to get even more use out of it.
Factors to Consider
There are multiple factors that can have a big impact on how long an electrical car lasts that you should know about before buying one.
Age of the Car
The older your electric car gets, the more likely it is to exhibit serious problems. The battery degrades slowly every time you charge it.
Some electric car models are more durable and reliable than others. The Tesla Model S only loses 5% of its maximum battery capacity within the first 50,000 miles. This isn’t bad at all, especially when compared to other electric cars on the market.
If you are planning to buy one of these cars, you’ll want to take a close look at some of the different models that are available. Each one will have its advantages and drawbacks that you need to consider before making a final decision.
Where you Live
Those who live in particularly hot places might experience a loss of battery capacity faster than others. Batteries in general don’t do very well when they are constantly exposed to extreme heat or cold. It is always best to keep your car in a garage when not in use, if possible.
Even the charging stations you use to re-up your electric car’s battery can play a role in just how long it lasts. You should try to about using Level 3 DC Fast Charging stations, as they can have a negative impact on the battery’s performance over time. While they will definitely juice up your battery quickly, it is not worth doing on a regular basis.
How to Extend the life of Your Electric Car
Below are some tips for extending the life of your electric car. Even some of the more seemingly small things can make a big difference.
Don’t Charge it up all the Way
You should try to avoid charging your car’s battery up all the way on a regular basis. This can actually reduce its capacity fairly quickly. The same goes with mobile devices like smartphone and tablets. It is all the same basic concept, and you’ll need to keep it in mind.
Time the Charging Just Right
If you have an electric car that lets you decide when it starts charging, you should do so about an hour before you hop in and go. This can go a long way towards preserving the life of your car’s battery, which can save you a lot of money over the long term.
Take Advantage of the Thermal Management
Some electric cars are equipped with a thermal management system, which protects the battery in extreme temperatures. This is something that you will definitely want to utilize when necessary. You might as well get the most out of the car that you spent your hard-earned money on.
Avoid Long Term Storage
Putting your electric car into storage for even three or four weeks at a time can do irreversible damage to the battery. If you are not going to be driving it for a while, you’ll need to make a point of running it once in a while. You can also use Storage Mode, if your car has such an option. This too will really help with preventing serious damage that can limit the life of the battery.
If you own a hybrid vehicle, you should try to limit your usage of its electric functionality. This will help you keep the car in good condition for as long as possible. It is okay to go electric if you are just driving around town, but you should consider switching over for longer trips. This can help you keep the battery’s capacity from draining significantly.
Electric cars are very eco-friendly and can help you save money, but they do require quite a bit of care. There are a lot of factors that can impact the life of these vehicles. A standard electric car battery lasts approximately eight years. You shouldn’t have to worry too much though, as your warranty will most likely cover any issues within this time frame. Just make sure that you look over the details of the warranty so you know exactly what is covered. Information is power, especially in this case.