EV Battery Health Quick Tips

Whether you are a seasoned electric car owner or you’re considering the switch to buy one, we provide all the best insights for preserving your EV battery. When you keep your EV battery in top condition, you maintain its health, the car lasts longer, and the vehicle retains its value. 
Read on to get practical tips for optimizing your EV battery’s lifespan.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, modern EV batteries will last anywhere from 12 to 15 years in moderate climates and between 100,000 and 200,000 miles. Electric vehicle batteries could last even longer, depending on factors like charging practices, how the car owner drives the vehicle and maintains the EV battery, and more. Many times, the original batteries could outlive the electric cars they power.

EV Battery Warranties: What Can You Expect?

Most EV batteries are warranty-protected for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Some EV batteries are covered for 10 years, and others are covered up to 150,000 miles. For example, Tesla provides EV warranty coverage for the Model S, Model X, and the Cybertruck for eight years or 150,000 miles with a guarantee of a minimum of 70% battery capacity retention. California electric cars starting with model year 2030 must maintain 80% of their range for 10 years or 150,000 miles.

PRO TIP: If buying a used Tesla, note that the warranty is transferable to the new owner only if purchased directly from Tesla. Check to ensure that the EV battery warranty is fully transferable.

How Much Do EV Batteries Cost?

Consumers can expect to pay between $4,000 and $36,000 for a replacement EV battery, not including labor, for a vehicle no longer under warranty. To show how much it can cost, a 2021 Kia Niro EV battery system runs about $30,000 to replace, as seen on the website of this dealership in New York.

Pro Tips for Keeping Your EV Battery Health in Top Condition

Check your vehicle manual to understand how to keep the EV battery in the best shape to prolong its life. Use these quick tips to help keep your EV battery operating in prime condition. 

1. Use Optimal Charging Practices

Your charging habits do matter. Keeping the battery above 20% and below 80% of charge is vital to ensure electric car battery longevity. Setting up the charging limits in the car’s control panel takes a few minutes, but it’s worth it to help keep the battery in good shape.

Additionally, regular DC fast charging can degrade the battery faster. Kia, makers of the fully electric EV6 and EV9, says DC fast-charging can rob roughly 10% of a battery’s life over eight years compared to Level 2 charging. 

2. Maintain Battery Temperature

Temperatures affect battery performance, EV range, and longevity. However, parking outside becomes necessary if you live in a home without a garage or on a road trip. Use the strategies below to maintain ideal battery temperature and conditions.

  • In many EVs, the driver may get a low-temperature alert on the vehicle display when the outside temperature drops. Carmakers, including Nissan, suggest turning on the battery heater for 30 minutes to an hour before DC fast charging during a road trip in that kind of weather.  
  • Manufacturers suggest not parking your vehicle in extreme heat or cold for long periods. For example, in the Nissan Ariya manual, the carmaker suggests that owners not store their vehicles in temperatures below -13 degrees Fahrenheit for over seven days.
  • Carmakers also suggest owners plug in their vehicles if they are away for an extended period. Tesla and other EVs allow you to control the charging times remotely.

PRO TIP: After you download the app for your car, you can control the temperature remotely in the car’s cabin. We suggest doing this because when the vehicle is optimally warm or cool during the summer or winter, the ambiance helps reduce the load on the EV battery while driving and can help increase the vehicle’s driving range. Tesla recommends that its owners use its app’s “scheduled departure” feature to precondition the battery.

3. Keep Up with Software Updates

Electric cars don’t need oil changes. They need over-the-air (OTA) updates, including the battery management system, to keep the vehicle properly working. Manufacturers regularly send software and OTA system updates to EVs (and other cars). Updates may even help with a recall. 

4. Avoid 100% Charge

Most carmakers suggest owners charge the battery up to 80%. Many also recommend not letting the EV battery get below a 20% charge. Kia’s website says, “Even though a full charge will give you the maximum operating time, it is never a good idea for the overall lifespan of your battery.”

RELATED: How Long Does it Take To Charge an Electric Car?

5. Set Up Regular Maintenance Checks

A heavy payload can reduce a gas-powered car’s fuel economy. Similarly, too much baggage can tax your EV’s battery and diminish driving range. Check the trunk or cargo area to ensure you’re not lugging around gear that isn’t necessary for your journey. If you’re not going surfing, leave the surfboard at home. Every little bit counts, and lightening the car’s load by even a couple of pounds can reap benefits. Keep up with the maintenance suggested in your manual, including EV battery tests performed at regular intervals. For example, the Nissan Ariya suggests terminals, cables, and battery tests every six months or every 7,500 miles.

Use these tips to find out what drains the battery in your electric car.

6. Monitor Battery Health

Electric car batteries degrade over time, causing reduced charging capacities. Since many EV battery warranties include replacement if the capacity drops below a certain level during the coverage period, the odds of an EV battery simply failing are extremely low. Watch for any warning signs that point to the need for a battery check. Many EVs now can monitor how much life is left in the battery, including Nissan electric vehicles. Also, new rules in California require that consumers have an EV battery “state of health” measure on their vehicle, with the automaker specifying the state of health percentage that qualifies for any warranty repair. 

7. Avoid Repeated Acceleration

We admit that speeding up quickly or repeatedly using that “Boost” button in some EVs like Genesis GV70 is tempting. However, repeated acceleration consumes more power from the EV battery and can wear it down faster. As a result, we advise EV drivers to use gentle acceleration and, in those Genesis EVs, to use the button sparingly.

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