A Guide to Electric Car Batteries
- Batteries for electric cars can potentially last 20 years
- Get £350 off the cost of an electric car charger for home
- Use our online calculator to get a free quote for an electric car charger in seconds
Electric car batteries are a major point for consideration when switching to an electric car. As integral to an electric vehicle as the engine, an electric car battery is expensive to replace.
With EVs still a relatively new concept for mainstream use, electric car batteries remain a specialist product manufactured by a tiny handful of companies.
Not only does high demand for a specialist product drive up costs, our expectations that electric cars live up to the convenience and performance of petrol-run cars means batteries must be larger, more sophisticated and powerful than ever before.
Despite all this, electric car battery costs are lower than they were in the past. In time, as more manufacturers enter the market, prices will decrease further. At present, replacement batteries for an electric car of a modest size cost around £5,300. You’ll also need to pay for installation by an operative so your final electric car battery costs will be higher.
If your car is a pricier model, you could be looking at £7,000-£8,000 for replacement electric car batteries. However, it is possible to avoid costly replacements and maintain your original battery life for the long-term.
With the potential to last up to 20 years, if looked after, it’s well-worth learning how best to maintain and optimise your electric car battery life so you can get good value from your existing battery. If you’re buying a second-hand electric car, be sure to test the battery first.
From battery life to charging ranges, degradation ad recycling, here’s all you need to know about electric car batteries to ensure you get the most from yours.
See how much you’d pay. Get a free quote for an electric car charger.
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How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?
Electric car batteries are designed to last for 10-20 years so if you look after your EV battery well, you shouldn’t need to fork out for a costly replacement battery before you naturally want to update your car.
Indeed, take a look at an electric car battery warranty and you’ll find most offer cover for around 8 years so with good care, you should be able to avoid having to replace electric car batteries.
How Do You Prolong the Life of an Electric Car Battery?
More and more drivers are switching to electric vehicles, so it's important to know how to look after them. According to data from Statista, there were more new pure electric vehicles registered last year than any other type. You can see how market shares compared in the interactive graph below. As of July 2022, demand for diesel vehicles was down by almost 50% compared to levels in 2021. Despite EVs being even stronger than this, July saw the slowest uptake since the pandemic, mostly due to various global supply issues.
EV Charging Dos and Don’ts
Here’s how to prolong the life of your electric car battery so it lasts for a decade to come:
- Use a slow charger: Fast-charging naturally holds appeal for our busy, modern lives and desire for rapid results, but a faster charge means hotter temperatures, degrading electric car batteries more quickly
- Ensure you have a chargepoint installed at home and get into the routine of charging your car overnight. Just like you'd charge your phone for the day ahead, it’s not that hard to have a routine for your EV
- You simply plug your electric car into your home chargepoint and leave it to charge so it’s a couple of seconds, which will keep your battery in good shape
- Don’t run it empty: Obviously a flat battery is the last thing you want for an electric car. Indeed, almost all electric car batteries come with built-in protection to prevent flat batteries happening
- However, if you don’t organise charging and leave recharges until the very last drops of energy are left, you’ll reduce the life of your electric car battery, whilst running the risk of bricking (which is when your battery will no longer charge)
- Charging tips: You may worry about overcharging electric car batteries, but the charging process is completed in such a way as to slow down enough to make sure 100% isn't reached too quickly to damage the battery. Modern EVs switch to trickle charging once they're full, which then only charges once the battery has depleted
- The battery won’t catch fire, but the temperature of the battery is heightened during charging, so avoiding charging the battery to 100% every time can help prolong its life
- Aim for 80% max most of the time. In fact some chargers will automatically cut out when 80% charge is reached. If you want to go lower, a 50-60% charge will do electric car batteries no harm at all
- Don’t charge hot batteries: Similarly, if your battery has just been put to good use on a long journey, leave it to cool down before you plug in the charger to aid the life of your electric car battery
- Don’t drive too aggressively: No this is not a government initiative, just general maintenance advice! If you're trying make record time, you’ll need to charge your car more frequently, which will run down the battery more quickly. Electric car batteries last longer when they're looked after by careful drivers
- Speeding down an A road (within legal limits) won’t feel so freeing when you have to fork out thousands of pounds for a new battery later on!
- Don’t buy previously fast-charged cars: If you’re buying an electric car second-hand, do ask the owner which speed the car has been charged at. Seek a used car that has been slow charged because the battery will be in better condition
- Remember, an older vehicle will have an older battery that might have a shorter expected lifetime than newer electric car batteries. Check the warranty and do your research before you buy
- Store at moderate temperatures: If you have a garage, you have the added advantage of being able to help your car avoid extreme temperature changes
- Very cold or hot temperatures will affect the life of your electric car battery, so parking in shadier spots and keeping it out of the frost will be helpful if you have those parking options for day and night
Get a free quote today using our online calculator and see how much you’d pay for an electric car chargepoint.
Did you know there are numerous government grants to help you get up to £350 off the cost of an EV chargepoint for your home? Learn about each grant in our guide to UK Government grants for EV chargepoints and electric cars.
Are Old Electric Car Batteries Recycled?
After opting to use an electric car to help the environment, it would be a waste of time if old batteries added to our landfill problem. Luckily, they don’t. Though electric car batteries can no longer power electric cars, old EV batteries still have a range of other uses.
In fact, almost all the parts of an electric car battery, from metals to plastics and wiring, can be reused or recycled.
What Happens to Old Electric Car Batteries?
There can be as much as 60-70% of power still left in out of use electric car batteries, so with a little imagination there are lots of things you can do with an old EV battery. The EU has stipulated at least 50% of an EV battery should be recycled, so there are all sorts of innovations taking place around the world.
However, it’s important to remember EV batteries contain hazardous substances that are toxic, flammable and highly dangerous, so any repurposing or recycling should be left to recycling specialists.
Current uses for old electric car batteries worldwide include:
- electric bikes, streetlights and the back-up system for elevators
- solar energy storage
- recycled metals, such as cobalt and nickel
Now that you know how much better it is to charge electric car batteries at home, it's worth looking into home chargers.
To get a tailored quote for an electric car charge point from our expert installers in minutes, use the button below. You'll get a clear idea of how much you’ll pay for an electric car charger.