The degradation of batteries is not linear throughout their entire useful life, nor is it proportional to the use we make of cars. That is, for using an electric car more the battery will not be damaged rather than one with less use. Electric car batteries degrade, yes, but the best way to avoid it or extend its useful life is to follow a series of fairly simple tips and care, such as taking care of charging cycles, avoiding exposure to excessive heat, not leaving the vehicle charging longer than necessary in case of extreme heat or avoid driving in reserve so that this useful life is extended a little longer than usual.
The degradation of the battery of an electric car is a process that is carried out little by little and which, as its name suggests, makes the amount of energy it can store less and less. Contrary to what you may think at first, battery degradation in a vehicle of this type is not the same as its range.
In the first case, it is about how much energy we can get with that battery (in kWh) and in the second case it is about how much distance we can travel with those kWhs that it offers us autonomy but in which there are also all kinds of factors that We already know how the load in the vehicle, the temperature, the topography of the road or even how we are used to driving regularly.
The battery is usually one of the main elements that “suffers” the most in a car of this type and tends to reduce as we use it. The autonomy of the batteries usually lasts, approximately, for about eight years in an optimal state. Or, at least, it is what most manufacturers guarantee: eight years of optimal autonomy and about fifteen or twenty years of average life although this may depend on an infinite number of factors or how we “treat” the battery of our electric car. Generally, a battery is considered to be in good condition when it maintains 80% of its original capacity.
There are four frequent causes that are usually the ones that cause your car battery to break down. Although there are more, the usual ones are fast charging, battery level, mileage or high temperatures. You must be careful in these four cases if you want to avoid degrading prematurely.
One of the main factors that causes more “damage” to a battery is its fast charging. According to the mentioned study, the frequent charging of the vehicle does not affect the loss of capacity but it can be accentuated in the case of using fast chargers that use direct current for charging. With fast charging we would lose 10% in five years and without them the battery would lose less than 2% of its capacity in the same period of time. If the fast charges are carried out once, two or three times a month, we would achieve a degradation of the batteries of more than 8%.
Beyond how to charge the electric car, it is also important when to charge the vehicle. According to experts, It is considered optimal that the battery is always maintained between 20% of the charge and 80% and that we do not wait for a complete download. At the extremes of the battery the car would not be able to deliver maximum power and could change the way we drive or how the vehicle responds so this is not only important for battery health but for “safety”. ” of the car itself.
Far from what one might think, mileage has little to do with the degradation of an electric car battery. It will not influence whether you do more or less kilometers. According to the Geotab study, there are no significant differences between vehicles that exceed 25,000 kilometers per year and vehicles thatand travel less than 8,000. Of course, it must be taken into account that greater use or intense use can lead to a greater number of fast charges and this would affect the degradation of the battery.
One of the main problems with batteries in electric cars is the especially hot climates. In the case of being exposed to excessive heat for several days a year, we will have a much greater degradation than in vehicles that are in much more temperate climates.