One of the biggest concerns for people new to electric cars is range. People are worried about not having enough range and that it will continue decreasing with time.
Do electric cars actually lose range over time? Your electric car will eventually lose range over time. As you continue using the electric car, the health of the battery will start to to deplete and it will lose range. How much range the battery loses depends on the quality of the battery and how much it is used.
Your car is very much the same as a phone in this case. As your car gets used and time passes, the battery will slowly lose charge. This will continue to happen over the years and with more miles driven. At the point when your battery becomes exceptionally low, it is time to fully replace it.
Why Electric Cars Lose Range Over Time
So, why exactly do electric car batteries lose charge overtime? Your electric car has a lithium-ion battery. Your lithium-ion battery has a positive side, known as the cathode, and a negative side, known as the anode. These batteries work by moving electrons from the cathode to the anode. These batteries begin to lose their charge overtime during this process.
A good way to envision this loss to your overall battery range is to imagine your phone. When you first buy a new phone, the charge can last quite a while, depending on the make and model that you have. Over time, the battery will drain faster and faster from 100%. Once a phone gets very old, the battery might not hold a charge at all or could die in just an hour or two. In order to remedy this, you would need to replace the battery in your phone.
As the electrons flow through your battery, they often can get caught on different nooks, crannies, and imperfections on the battery. When these electrons come into contact with the nickel, it causes a chemical reaction. This will create a crystal. As more and more electrons flow through the battery, more and more will continue to get stuck and more crystals will form. This is what causes your battery to lose its charge and to operate less efficiently.
While the science behind all of this might be a little confusing, the important thing to remember is that all lithium-ion batteries will continuously lose charge over time. This is true for phones, laptops, and electric cars. Even while taking the best care possible of your car, it will lose charge. By taking the best care possible of your car, you can ensure that the battery degradation is as minimal as possible. While you may not remember what an anode or a cathode is, remember that your battery needs special care in order to make sure that it lasts as long as possible.
How Much Range Can An Electric Car Lose?
How much range will your car actually lose over time? This will vary from car to car for several different reasons. The first major factor will be the make and model of the electric car that you are driving. Some cars will have their batteries last much longer than others.
The second thing that can have an effect on your car losing range is how much you use your car. The more that you drive your car, the more wear that you are putting on your battery, the more times you will drain and need to recharge your battery. Increased usage of your electric car will lead to your car losing range quicker.
The third thing that can have a major effect on the battery of your car is how you take care of it. Battery care is very critical to making it last as long as possible. Electric car batteries are meant to stay between 20-80% charge at all times. Letting the battery fall below that or charging it to 100% can actually cause your battery to lose range quicker.
There are also other minor factors that come into play here such as the environment in which you drive the car. Extreme hot and extremely cold temperatures can be rough on a battery. Either of these can shorten its life. Protecting your car from the elements and living in more mild climates will help to maximize your battery’s life.
So, how much range can your car actually lose? It turns out that on average, an electric car will lose 2.3% of its full range each year. So, if you have a car with a range of 300 miles, you can expect to lose about 6 miles each year. While that isn’t a ton, it is something you probably want to be prepared for. Especially if you are the kind of person that likes to hold onto cars for a very long time. Eventually, that range will be very small, and you’ll end up needing to replace the battery.
Can You Reverse Any Lost Range On An Electric Car Battery?
If your car has started to lose a charge, you may be curious to know if you can reverse the process and get your batteries to range back up where they used to be. Unfortunately, the only way to increase the range of your car once it has started dropping is to entirely replace the battery.
This can be a pretty expensive replacement. Fortunately, many electric car manufacturers offer very good warranties on electric car batteries. Hyundai for example offers a lifetime warranty on batteries. Many other manufacturers have warranties up to 100,000 miles. If your battery dies in this time, you can get it replaced for free.
Once a lithium-ion battery has started to lose its charge, there really isn’t anything that you can do to reverse the process. That is why the best thing to make sure the battery of your car lasts as long as possible is to take proper care of your battery. This means to keep it protected from harsh weather, to keep it properly charged, and to avoid excessive fast charging. Doing all of these things will help maximize the life of your electric battery so that you don’t have to worry about replacing it.
How To Maintain An Electric Car Battery To Ensure The Longest Life Possible
When a battery starts losing range, it is normal. It’s expected for your battery to do this each year. But, there are certain things that you can do to help minimize this degradation.
The first thing that you want to do is to follow the 20-80% rule. Lithium-ion batteries thrive best when charged between 20 and 80%. When the battery falls out of this range, it puts additional stress on the battery. Especially if the car is going to sit for a long time at these charge levels, you can cause a lot of extra wear on your battery.
The next thing that you will want to be cautious of is how you charge your car battery. As with a standard 12V car battery, quickly charging a battery to full can be hard on it. A much better approach is to use a trickle charger to slowly charge it to full and then maintain it at that voltage. Electric car batteries are very much the same.A slow charge will help maintain the full range of your battery better. DC fast chargers are very nice, and they can charge your car very quickly. To maximize the life of your battery, it’s best to only use fast chargers when you really need to.
One of the last big threats to your battery’s life is the environment that it’s in. Extreme cold and extremely hot temperatures will both cause extra wear on your battery. If you live somewhere that gets pretty hot in the summer, it’s best to park your car in the shade so it doesn’t get overheated. Likewise, if you live somewhere that gets very cold in the winter, parking in a garage that gets some heat from your house will help make your battery last as long as possible.