Electric cars are noted for their energy efficiency and their eco-friendly design. These cars don’t emit harmful pollutants into the environment; in fact, they don’t even have a tail pipe. While standard cars are powered by gas (or fuel), electric cars are powered by a battery that is charged via an electrical current. They don’t rely on a pump, instead they rely on the plug.
The time needed to charge an electric car varies by the type of charger used. In addition, the range each car can travel on a full charge also varies by make/model. How long do batteries last in electric cars? This answer could actually refer to two different questions:
- What is the life of an electric car battery?
- What is the range of the electric car?
How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last?
All electric cars include an estimated range related to how far they can travel on a full charge. Most drivers probably won’t max out this range for a number of reasons. Waiting until the battery is completely drained would leave a driver stranded, and different issues can impact the car’s range.
Driving habits and car functions that impact the range of an electric car include:
- Driving up a hill
- Using the heat/air conditioning
- Driving speed
- Carrying excess weight (like towing)
- Tire tread
Most of these factors also influence and can wreak havoc on a standard automobile’s fuel efficiency. While driving habits can decrease or increase the car’s estimated fuel efficiency, similar habits also can increase or decrease the estimated range of an electric vehicle.
Unfortunately, drivers don’t have control over going uphill or the wind. However, they might be able to maximize their range by opting to turn off their air conditioner and maintaining their tires. Checking the tire pressure and making sure to rotate the tire regularly can help maximize the range.
How Long Does Electric Car Battery Last with a Warranty?
Car buyers might be curious about the life expectancy of their vehicle’s battery pack. Replacing an electric car’s battery is an expensive repair, and it might even be more sensible to just buy a new vehicle when the battery has reached the end of its life.
The battery pack featured in an electric vehicle might differ by make/model. Every manufacturer also offers its own battery warranty. This warranty is an important spec to consider when purchasing an electric vehicle. Again, replacing the battery isn’t budget-friendly.
How expensive is battery replacement? According to Just Jerry, it can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $18,000 to replace the battery of an electric car.
Battery warranties vary; Toyota offers a 10-year or 150,000-mile battery warranty (whichever comes first). Tesla offers different warranties for different models; models typically provide an 8 year warranty, and can range from 100,000 to 150,000 miles. However, the Model 3 Long Range offers an 8-year, 120,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first).
Car shoppers should read the fine print on warranties to understand their duration and what they cover or don’t cover.
How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last on the Road?
Range for an electric vehicle might be more important than fuel efficiency is for a standard model. Gas stations are everywhere, and are seemingly included on almost every street. Electric models are relatively new to the streets, and not all areas have embraced their rise.
When taking any electric model for a long journey, car owners might have to map out charging stations along the way (depending on the length of the trip). While cars with longer ranges might induce less stress for drivers, the battery could be drained sooner when drivers are caught in traffic or using the air conditioner.
For this reason, when taking an electric car on a long trip, range might make or break the joy of the journey. Again, vehicles offer varying ranges. The longest-range electric model currently on the market is the Lucid Air Dream; it offers an estimated range of 520 miles (it has a starting price of $169,000).
Tesla’s models offer different ranges; some can drive more than 400 miles. However, the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive has an estimated range of 272 miles. Car shoppers who wonder how every electric model compares according to range can check out a list compiled by Eco Cost Savings; it includes the ranges of 277 different models.
The 2021 Mini Cooper SE has the lowest range of modern electric models on the market; the Mini Cooper SE has an estimated range of 110 miles.
How Long Do Batteries Last in Electric Cars?
There is not a simple or singular answer related to how long batteries last in electric cars. When considering the estimated range, all cars offer different stats. Again, driving habits could impact the range.
The life of a battery also could be dependent on the battery type. However, since the battery is a costly replacement, car buyers should review the manufacturer’s battery warranty. The longer warranties could be a comfort to car owners.
Many drivers replace their vehicle frequently, and they might not worry too much about the life of their battery. In addition, as manufacturers improve upon the design and mechanics of electric cars, both the range and the battery life might lengthen with newer models.
What is the Best Electric Car for Battery Life or Range?
Car buyers all have different criteria for what defines the best vehicle. While the range of an electric car might be an important factor to consider for buyers, it might not be the most important factor for all buyers.
Some car shoppers want an electric car for city driving. They might not have any intention of taking the vehicle on a long road trip or even journeying far beyond home. These buyers might gravitate to electric models because they are a cleaner option and they don’t require standard fuel.
As the price of gas soars, car buyers might view electric cars as a way to avoid the pump. However, if car buyers need their electric car for a long commute, they might consider the range and the availability of public chargers in their area.
Charging Options and Electric Car Battery Life
Many electric car owners will opt to charge their car overnight at home. For home-charging, car owners can either use a level 1 charger or a level 2 charging station. The level 1 option is a standard plug that can be used with a regular home outlet.
However, the level 2 charging station requires a 240-volt outlet. Some homes are not equipped with this electrical capacity and would need to hire an electrician to upgrade their voltage. Level 2 chargers are more costly to install (even for homes that offer the required voltage). These charging stations offer a faster charge, allowing car owners to completely charge their vehicle overnight.
Level 1 chargers don’t provide the same amount of charging power. They might only be able to partially charge a vehicle overnight.
When considering an electric vehicle, car owners also might research which charging option would work best for their driving needs and their budget.
Not all cities or towns offer convenient (or free) charging stations for electric vehicles. While electric car manufacturers might offer free charging at public stations for a designated time period (as a purchase perk), eventually, the free offer will expire. Public charging stations can vary in cost, and car owners might be quite expensive.
Use RelayCars to Explore Electric Vehicle Options and Compare Stats, Too
Car shoppers can download the RelayCars app or visit the RelayCars mobile site to explore thousands of makes and models using 3D imagery, augmented reality or even virtual reality experiences (with Google Cardboard). The RelayCars app is free to download via Google Play or the App Store.
With the RelayCars app, car shoppers can choose the vehicle they wish to explore. The app will allow shoppers to explore the vehicle using a 3D image of the model; use a fingertip to rotate the car and view the exterior from any angle. Shoppers also can explore the interior features of the vehicle, too.
The app also offers a virtual reality experience. However, users must have access to a Google Cardboard headset to explore cars via virtual reality.
Car shoppers also can visit the RelayCars mobile site using their smartphone or tablet. The website offers the same 3D imagery experiences as the app, and it also provides an augmented reality experience. Use the camera on a mobile device to capture any environment, and an image of a selected vehicle will drop into this environment.
Both the RelayCars mobile site and app also provide specs and pricing information on every make and model. Compare prices or estimated ranges on favorite electric vehicles. Shoppers also can view their favorite vehicles in different paint hues.
With RelayCars, shoppers can interact with vehicles from home. Explore all the options, then visit the dealership to explore those models in person.