Turns Out EV Batteries Are A Lot More Durable Than Initially Thought, Researchers Say

The demise of many perfectly functional devices is often attributed to a dead or irreplaceable battery, causing considerable frustration. However, recent research challenges this notion when it comes to the batteries powering electric vehicles (EVs).

According to findings reported by The Globe and Mail, EV batteries exhibit remarkable reliability and longevity, potentially outlasting the vehicles themselves.

In March, Recurrent Motors Inc., a Seattle-based battery analysis company, conducted a study that shed light on the impressive durability of EV batteries. The research drew from real-world data gathered from 15,000 EVs of various makes and models across the United States. By leveraging the vehicles’ connectivity systems, the company collected daily battery readings, including charging patterns, battery levels, and estimated driving ranges.

The data revealed that the majority of EVs, even after nearing 100,000 miles in mileage, retained at least 90 percent of their original battery range. Liz Najman, the study’s author and a researcher and marketing manager at Recurrent, expressed her astonishment at the batteries’ resilience and the infrequency of replacements. She remarked, “I was surprised how well batteries are holding up, and how relatively infrequently batteries are being replaced.”

It is important to note that individual vehicles can exhibit variations, and Recurrent’s data continues to evolve. This is largely because a significant portion of EVs on U.S. roads is relatively new, with nearly 30 percent sold just last year, and the majority being less than six years old.

The cost of replacing an EV battery can range from $5,000 to $22,000, a considerable expense, especially for used cars no longer under warranty. The study’s data revealed that, aside from official recalls, only a minor 1.5 percent of cars required battery replacements.

The promising findings from this study aim to alleviate concerns and encourage individuals to consider making the switch to EVs, including used ones. Transportation stands as a leading contributor to heat-trapping gases, with passenger cars globally producing approximately 3.3 billion tons of carbon pollution each year. In contrast, EVs significantly reduce heat-trapping air pollution as they produce no exhaust emissions.

Efforts to address concerns about battery longevity can potentially drive greater EV adoption, benefitting both individuals and the planet. As Najman aptly stated, “I don’t think I’m alone in the assumption that modern EV batteries should outlast the cars themselves.”

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