How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Hold its Charge?

Even though electric vehicles are receiving positive attention and are becoming more popular every day – adoption is still slow.

Many people are skeptical of buying electric vehicles (EVs), and some still believe that they will never replace gasoline vehicles completely.

While many automakers are making progress in electrification, it seems that the vast majority are not yet ready to make the switch.

Wondering if an electric car is right for you now or in the future? Keep reading to understand why many of the battery charging misconceptions against EVs aren’t necessarily correct.

There are some obvious reasons why the general public isn’t embracing electric vehicles, including the high upfront costs, low supply, and lack of charging stations.

However, the topic has become a talk of the town for quite some time due to several misconceptions. The truth is that some of these myths may be valid or may have been true in the past, but times have changed, and technology has drastically advanced since electric vehicles (EVs) first appeared on the market.

The point here is: if electric cars or electric vehicles (EVs) are the future, why does it look like the future is taking very long to arrive? There are many reasons for this, and the most common is range anxiety.

What is Range Anxiety with EVs?

How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Hold its Charge
How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Hold its Charge

Formerly, individuals believed that electric vehicles would not gain any traction until they could go a distance comparable to that of a gasoline or diesel vehicle.

Even it was said that the lack of insufficient energy storage hindered their success—range anxiety is the term for that.

Richard Aiello wrote about his concerns regarding GM EV1 electric car owners in the September 1997 edition of the San Diego Business Journal, which is considered the first publication to use the term “range anxiety.”

In a trademark application filed on July 6, 2010, by General Motors, they noted that the word could promote public awareness of the battery capabilities offered by electric vehicle technology.

When the battery charge is low and the car’s usual sources of electricity are unavailable, an EV driver has range anxiety. It increases the time, inconvenience, and stress associated with traveling when an individual is afraid of getting stuck.

As a result, the most common reasons people give for not purchasing an electric vehicle are the shortage of charging stations and short-range.

Before getting into the battery ranges, let’s find out the types of batteries used for EVs.

There are two primary types of batteries in today’s electric car market – A, battery-powered by a Lithium-Ion Cell, and B, Nickel-Metal Hydride.  

Batteries in your cell phone aren’t all that different compared to the chemistry EVs use. Lithium-ion batteries are often used in EVs and smartphones today. Like those used in Apple’s iPhone and various Samsung Galaxy phones.

Considering the usage, EV batteries must recharge quickly and preserve their energy through many charging cycles, all the while being battered by roads, potholes, and anything the wonderful US weather throws at them.

EV batteries need to have a huge capacity to power more than two tonnes of vehicles. Kilowatt-hour (abbreviated as kWh) is the standard unit of measurement for a battery’s energy storage capacity over a given period. A gasoline tank in a combustion-engine car is a good analogy for this.

Here’s a breakdown of some powerful Lithium-ion batteries:

Renault TwizyLi-ion BatteryCapacity: 6.1 kWhPower: 4 kW/5 CP
Hyundai IoniqLi-ion BatteryCapacity: 28 kWhPower: 88 kW/118CP
Nissan LeafLi-ion BatteryCapacity: 30 kWhPower: 80 kW/107CP
VW E-GolfLi-ion BatteryCapacity: 24.2 kWhPower: 100 kW/136CP
Tesla Model SLi-ion BatteryCapacity: 100 kWhPower: 193 kW/259CP

Due to their high power density per mass battery unit, lithium-ion batteries are now by far the most widely used devices in electric vehicles, as shown in the table above.

Compared to liquid Li-ion batteries, in which the electrolyte is risky and explosive at high temperatures, Lithium-ion seems safer and much more stable.

As a result, electric vehicles that use lithium-ion batteries are not as susceptible to fires and chemical leaks as conventional vehicles.

Read How far can an electric car go on one charge?

How Long Can an EV Battery Hold a Charge?

How long an EV battery can hold a charge isn’t merely a question related to the vehicle’s daily range. Despite the concerns of some drivers, it appears that the battery in an automobile survives far longer than the one in outdated smartphones.

Although old EV batteries will not perform like the brand new ones, they will still last for many years. The internet is full of examples of how high-mileage electric and hybrid vehicles are doing well even in their golden ages. EV batteries are a good investment; however, they require proper maintenance.

Most all-electric vehicles haven’t been on the road for long enough to accumulate a significant number of miles; however, numerous factors influence battery life and degradation.

Although a study of Tesla vehicles discovered that after 150,000 miles, most of the batteries lose only 8% of their capacity.

This discharge rate means that these batteries might retain up to 80% of their capacity after 500,000 miles and last for more than one million miles.

The average lifespan of a gas-powered vehicle is around 140,000 miles; however, the projected battery life of an electric vehicle is at least a decade.

As a result, all new electric cars on the market today come with extensive warranties, which guarantee roughly 70% of their original capacity after 7-8 years of use. Here are some examples:

BMW i3100,000 Miles (8 Years)
Hyundai Kona Electric100,000 Miles (8 Years)
Kia e-Niro100,000 Miles (7 Years)
Jaguar i-Pace100,000 Miles (8 Years)
Nissan Leaf100,000 Miles (8 Years)

Read How Long Will a Tesla Battery Last?

What Is the Best-Performing Electric Vehicle in Terms of Range?

Given that time has changed and we’re now living in a technological world where nothing is impossible, you may wonder that since automobile makers have started paying attention to the anxiety range, how long an electric car battery holds its charge?

There were a few hundred miles of driving range in the early electric vehicles (2011 – 2016). The average range of today’s electric vehicles is roughly 200-250 miles, but some EVs, like Teslas, can go as far as 350 miles on a single charge.

Considering that range of an electric vehicle is one of the primary concerns of EV drivers, only a few electric vehicles can compete with the range of the majority of gas-powered automobiles. 

If you’re concerned about range, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) such as the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Prime, and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid are the best options.

These vehicles provide a certain amount of pure-electric range and the option of a gas-powered engine for range extension. Due to their efficiency and the use of several powertrains, some plug-in hybrid vehicles have a longer total range than regular automobiles.

Having said that, the range of electric automobiles continues to expand; the majority of modern electric vehicles have more than enough range for daily commute.

Remember that you may need to select a higher frame level to get the maximum range out of your vehicle.

Different electric vehicle models advertise varying driving ranges or how far a fully charged battery will take you on a single charge (miles per charge); therefore, knowing the driving range of an electric car is vital for planning ahead.

According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), it is estimated that the average American drives 40 miles each day.

Today, many electric vehicles have a driving range of more than 200 miles per battery charge, which is more than enough for a daily commuter’s requirements.

The range of a vehicle may be too limited for your needs if the distance you travel regularly is more than the range of the vehicle.

We will analyze the ranges of some of the most popular electric vehicle options to give you an idea of the types of ranges you might encounter when shopping for an EV.

Nissan Leaf226 Miles Range
Chevrolet Bolt259 Miles Range
Hyundai Kona Electric258 Miles Range
Tesla Model S Long RangeEPA-Estimated 402 Miles Range

Just like traditional combustion engine cars have varying gas tank capacities and miles per gallon ratings (resulting in varying full-tank ranges)—Electric vehicles (EVs) have a diverse range in terms of the distance they can go on a fully charged battery.

The Tesla Model S Long Range has the best range rating of the vehicles listed above, which means it will drive the furthest distance on a single charge.

Chevrolet Bolt and Hyundai Kona Electric have slightly shorter ranges, and the Nissan Leaf has a range that is less than half that of the competition.

Read How to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Station At Home

How to Choose an Appropriate EV Range?

Electric vehicles with a longer range tend to be more expensive, so it’s crucial to consider your driving preferences while making a purchase.

The Nissan Leaf has a short range of driving, which means it may not be the greatest choice if you plan to cover a long distance. Instead, you might want to consider vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric, or Tesla models, which have longer ranges.

On the other hand, a vehicle such as the Nissan Leaf may be more cost-effective and sensible to purchase if you have a shorter commute to work or need a vehicle for running errands around town.

The Leaf is less expensive and has a lower range rating, while more powerful electric vehicles may be unnecessary in these circumstances.

Additionally, when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle, it is always vital to evaluate the availability of EV charging stations. Charging stations might be a hindrance when it comes to deciding where to drive your vehicle.

If you live in a region with a large number of charging stations, a lesser-range car might be a wise option because the battery’s range would be less of a constraint.

For people who do not reside in an area with charging stations, their options are more limited because they require a substantially greater driving range to survive without the stations.

do electric cars hold their charge
do electric cars hold their charge

Read How Much Money Do You Save With an Electric Car

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an EV Battery?

In an electric vehicle, batteries are one of the most expensive components to purchase. The replacement cost varies from $0 to $20,000, depending on various factors.

If a battery is still under warranty from the manufacturer, which is normally 8 years and 100,000 miles, you should be able to acquire a replacement battery at no additional cost.

In addition, if you want a battery replacement after your warranty has expired, knowing how much money you’ll be paying out of pocket is important. At the moment, the average cost of replacing an electric car battery is around $5,000-$6,000.

Getting a dealership is the best way for battery installation because they let you purchase and install the manufacturer’s certified OEM batteries.

Related electric car articles:

The Final Words

If you’ve decided to jump into the deep end of the EV pool, remember that while EVs can be annoying to charge from time to time, this is not always the case.

Furthermore, charging station networks are increasing rapidly, making it faster and easier to find a charging station almost anywhere.

Now that we have figured out different types of EV batteries, how much does it cost to replace an EV battery, how to choose an appropriate EV range, best-performing EV batteries in terms of ranges, and at last, how long does an electric car battery hold its charge—you now know why you should choose an EV over a regular gasoline-fueled vehicle with an internal combustion engine.