When it comes to electric cars, many people interested in them wonder how long the batteries in these vehicles actually last. That’s because battery packs are the most expensive components on these cars.
The company Recurrent recently conducted a study looking at 15,000 electric cars. The results may not give the full picture, as technology has evolved a lot in this area in recent years. The reliability of the battery pack on a 2010 Nissan Leaf can’t tell us how long the one installed on a Hyndai Ioniq 6 will last. Still, the results of the study are encouraging.
Of the cars analysed, only 1.5% had their batteries replaced (excluding massive recalls, such as by Chevrolet or Hyundai).
The study also looked at how electric car batteries degrade after the first 100,000 miles driven. This is the distance for which manufacturers in the US are required to offer a warranty.
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Research shows that the maximum range offered by cars has not significantly decreased after an initial accelerated decline, and the way batteries degrade differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Higher capacity battery packs degrade faster at first than lower capacity ones, then their level stabilizes. In the graph below you can see how a 100 kWh battery pack from a Tesla Model S compares to smaller capacity packs (85 kWh and 70 kWh) installed in the same car model.
And other sources confirm that batteries in modern electric cars are reliable. A Tesla Model X car that has travelled over 200,000 miles in five years has lost less than 10% of its battery capacity.
The electric vehicle market is expected to grow 65% globally in 2022, to 10.2 million units sold, according to research firm Counterpoint Research.