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Your guide to electric car battery capacity and lifespan.

How they work, how long they’re expected to last and how to make the most of your battery life.

EV battery capacity

How does an electric vehicle (EV) battery work?

Electric car batteries are usually lithium-ion batteries, similar to the battery in your mobile phone. Electric vehicle batteries can be recharged by connecting them to a power supply and then used to power your car’s electric motor and wheels.

How do you measure EV battery capacity?

You measure an electric vehicle’s battery capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You might recognise it as the same unit that your home’s electricity meter uses to show you how much you’ve used.

What is the average capacity for an EV battery?

The average capacity for an EV battery is around 40kWh, but you can get some up to 100kWh. Generally, the larger the battery capacity the further your electric car can drive before it needs to recharge.

What is the lifespan of an electric car battery?

EV batteries are expected to last around 500,000 miles. Electric car batteries degrade over time as they’re charged, but you can extend your battery’s lifespan.

One of the benefits of electric car batteries is that they can be recycled once they need replacing.

How do you extend an electric car battery’s lifespan?

Charge your EV overnight.

Charging your electric car overnight using a 7kW EV home charger is more effective than using rapid or ultra fast chargers as they can reduce the capacity of your battery.

Avoid overcharging your electric car.

By charging your EV to around 80% rather than 100%, the battery will last longer over time. Plus avoid waiting until your battery is completely empty before you charge it to avoid battery degradation and battery capacity reduction.

Accelerate smoothly in your EV.

Accelerating too harshly can impact your battery performance and lifespan, so don't take off too rapidly at the lights. Take off smoothly and you'll help to increase your battery's longevity.

Can you repair an EV battery?

It is possible to repair an EV battery, however there aren’t many companies offering that service in the UK at the moment. Electric car batteries are made up of modules, which can be repaired rather than replacing the whole battery.

How much does it cost to replace an electric car battery?

The cost of replacing your EV battery can vary depending on the make and model of your car. If you need to replace your battery within the warranty period then your car manufacturer should replace it at no extra cost.

Outside of your warranty you’ll need to talk to your EV’s manufacturer to get a quote for battery replacement.

Why are electric car batteries so expensive?

Inside an EV battery are lots of very rare and expensive metals which means they cost a lot to produce when compared to diesel and petrol car engines. The costs are coming down however it will be a while until EVs become as cheap as petrol equivalents.

What is a solid state battery?

They represent the next big leap in electric car battery technology. Solid state batteries will hopefully be able to deliver a lot more range in a smaller package. Solid state batteries use a solid electrolyte rather than the liquid or polymer found in current lithium-ion batteries.

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