If you're considering buying an electric car, you may have concerns about the lifespan of the vehicle's battery. After all, we're all familiar with the disappointing performance of our cellphone batteries after just a few months of use. But is the battery lifespan of an electric car really a significant worry? A new study by Recurrent Auto suggests that it may not be.
The researchers examined a community of 15,000 electric cars and found that only 1.5% of batteries had been replaced, excluding recalls. The study also revealed that most battery replacements occurred while the car was still under warranty, which is usually at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. Some automakers, such as Rivian, even offer battery coverage for up to 175,000 miles.
Another interesting finding is that battery degradation is not a linear process. While an electric car may experience a significant drop in driving range within the first 20,000 miles, the degradation stabilizes after that and can remain relatively constant for several years.
However, it's important to note that the study does have some caveats. Recurrent Auto's goal is to increase confidence in pre-owned electric car transactions and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, so the company may not be entirely neutral. Additionally, the relative youth of the EV industry means that we may not have a complete understanding of battery lifespan for some time, particularly regarding the effects of long-term rapid DC charging on battery health.
Despite these limitations, the study's results provide some reassurance for electric car buyers. While the upfront cost of an electric car and the limited driving range of some models may still be concerns, battery lifespan may not be as big of a worry as previously thought. With warranties covering most battery replacements and non-linear degradation patterns, it seems that electric car batteries may be more durable than we originally believed.