Battery life

Manufacturers advise that the life of a battery will depend on:One common question that most people have about owning an electric vehicle is how often they will have to replace the battery and if this will add significantly to the vehicle’s running costs.

  • The make of the battery
  • The total mileage you drive every year
  • How you drive your electric vehicle

The further and the faster you drive your electric vehicle, the more you will need to recharge its battery. Like most things on a car, the more you use them, the more they will wear out and this applies to electric vehicle batteries too.

Most people in the UK change their car on average every three to five years*. The good news is that during this period of time you are unlikely to need to change the battery, as manufacturers advise that there will be no significant reduction in its performance. Manufacturers predict that, based on a mix of normal short, medium and longer distance driving conditions,   batteries will reduce to between 70% and 80% of their original capacity after 8 to 10 years.

If you normally undertake very short journeys (the average UK journey is 7 miles**), then driving using a battery which has depleted by say 70% may not be an issue. However, if you are intending to drive your vehicle regularly on longer journeys which go to the limits of your battery’s capacity, then it may well be worth replacing the battery if the vehicle is say 8 to 10 years old. Whilst for most drivers depletion of the battery will not be a cause for concern, it is a consideration if you keep you electric vehicle for a very long time or if you buy a second hand one.

Some manufacturers also offer a battery warranty, which will cover the cost of a replacement if performance deteriorates noticeably. Alternatively, some manufacturers offer you the option to lease the battery.

A further key consideration is how many miles your battery will allow you to drive before it needs recharging.  Depending on your driving habits and requirements, you will need to select the right type of electric vehicle that is the best vehicle for you.

Click here to discover all you need to know about charging your vehicle and electric vehicle charge points.

* RAC Foundation
** Department of Transport, National Travel Survey