The general rule, at the very least for lithium ion batteries is that two elements can cause it to die in time: 1.) high temperature two) cycles (a whole capacity’s worth of charging and discharge).
The majority of our information regarding EV battery life span is
- hybrids, mainly hybrids, mostly the Prius. They use a different type of battery (Nickel Metal Hydride) typically tiny batteries.
- Older prototypes of electric vehicles in the 90’s made use of battery made of lead (like the batteries in cars however, there were a lot of these). They were mostly reclaimed by automakers and also crushed, which means we don’t have any long-term information.
- The first generation of EVs are one of them, the Tesla Roadster, the original Nissan Leaf, and the very first Tesla Model S cars.
The first two groups have so different in technology that the information we have available is essentially ineffective when discussing the EV manufactured today. The third group is the oldest one, it is Roadster and Leaf were both prone to issues with their engineering in their first batteries. A lot of them needed to be replaced or even lost range in a short time. It is the Model S, and all vehicles that have followed (All Teslas and including the Chevy Bolt, the newer Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai Kona Kia Niro, and the Hyundai Kona Kia Niro and many more.) have been improved on and we believe that they will last a lot longer, and possibly longer than the other automobile. In addition, since the most important element in determining the longevity of a battery is how many complete cycles that the battery can go through and the larger the battery is, the longer it’ll last (or at the very least longer distances). This is the reason we believe these batteries today will last longer due to their size. They are massive and are liquid cooled. You can drive them for thousands of miles, and barely straining the batteries. But, at this time, this is still theoretical since EVs that have these battery configurations have been in use for just 8 years ago, and we have just a tiny bit of information about the batteries. The first EV battery configuration came with model Tesla Model S and Tesla could only generate just a few thousand per year for a while, and there is only a small amount of EVs that are over five years old or have the highest mileage. The numbers look promising: some old Model S cars have broken 300,000 miles and another has surpassed 600,000 miles. But we’ll not have accurate data for 5 years. Tesla has just completed their millionth sale. In 10 years’ time, we’ll have a wealth of data, including nearly one million excellent data points. It’s also possible that the information on the batteries of today will become outdated , given that there’s a lot of research teams seeking the best electric battery. Many have seen promising results.