Exploring Electric Vehicle Battery Life, Degradation, And Developments

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The battery pack of an electric vehicle (EV) is a crucial concern to consumers. What is the actual range of an EV? How long will it take me to charge? And will typical consumer behaviors have to change to adopt an EV? Below we focus on the anxieties surrounding battery life and degradation, but also a mention of the current developments in the market.

Automotive Research: Battery Life

A heated debate currently exists in the realm of battery life. EVs have not been in circulation long enough to gather comprehensive data on lifetime. However, a substantial indication may live in the warranties currently available from manufacturers. Tesla, for example, offers an 8-year warranty, the world’s best-selling Nissan Leaf with a 30kWh battery also provides an eight-year warranty period.

It is perhaps too early to estimate the actual life cycle of a lithium-ion battery, as the data just isn’t available. However, researchers at The Electrochemical Society found that partial discharge can increase battery life substantially.  For example, a 100% discharge cycle (most aggressive), batteries can typically last between 300-500 cycles. However, take the discharge rate consistently to 50% and the life expectancy can improve considerably to 3 to 4 times.

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