By Ursula Nizalowski
With electric vehicles (EVs) becoming more commonplace, there is a debate on whether it’s
worth purchasing one or not. Because unlike regular cars, EVs are powered entirely by batteries
instead of gasoline. So if the EV’s battery dies, then the car stops running. Now recent advances
in battery and charging technology have made EVs more reliable leading to the rise of EV
manufacturers like Tesla. Though just because Tesla cars are popular doesn’t mean they have the
best battery life. And that’s what this article hopes to determine by comparing the battery lives
of Tesla models with other EVs.
Factors that Determine Battery Life
Temperature – It is a scientific fact that car batteries are affected by extreme
temperatures. But whereas the cold can “prolong the useful life of a battery by slowing the
degradation of normal usage over time,” the heat “can increase the output of the battery,
but also increases the speed of battery degradation” according to Midtronics . Thus the hotter the
environment is, the more the EV battery will wear out.
Capacity – Like any battery, there is only so much voltage an EV battery can retain.
For instance, “draining most of your battery’s capacity frequently, or completely draining an EV
battery, reduces battery capacity over time” EnergySage says. By contrast, overcharging a
battery generally isn’t an issue since most EVs have a built-in battery management system or
BMS for short.
Electric Current – Apart from extreme temperatures, using too much of a battery’s
electric current can cause it to run out more quickly. The same applies to EV batteries, which
can have their lifespan reduced depending on how one drives. For example, aggressive driving
might cause high amounts of electric current to be pulled from the battery in a short timespan
leaving less energy for the EV overall and overtime.
Warranties – Like regular cars, EVs often come with a warranty. So if an EV battery
runs out before it’s supposed to, the warranty will usually allow the car’s owner to get it looked
at and replaced for free. Though EnergySage claims it’s important to examine individual EV
warranties closely since they’re not all universal protection-wise.
Model S – Being one of the earliest Tesla cars ever made, the Model S battery
replacement numbers are naturally “higher than those of later model year Teslas” according to a
study by Recurrent . Though the batteries come with an 8 year warranty that’ll keep them from
degrading past 70% power. Also, the Model S can go up to 405 miles per charge if the car is
new while used ones can do 200 miles under the best conditions.
Model 3 – Now since the Model 3 is newer than the Model S, the rate of degradation in
the batteries hasn’t been as steep. On top of that, the battery warranty is transferrable for new
owners. But range-wise, the Model 3 isn’t that much better from the Model S with used Model
3s consistently going 200-300 miles per charge.
Other Electric Vehicles
Nissan LEAF – Prior to Tesla, Nissan paved the way for EVs with its LEAF model
which is still being driven to this day. Though in the years since its debut, the LEAF has had
multiple battery replacements with the early models being covered by Nissan “after they found
that their original battery chemistry lost charge quickly in hot environments” Recurrent says.
Fortunately, the newer LEAF cars have better batteries even if their range is mixed going
between 100 miles per charge up to 280 for those who buy a LEAF Plus.
Chevrolet Volt – In its heyday, the Chevrolet Volt garnered a lot of attention for being
the first hybrid car to be made by a major manufacturer. Thus, its battery degradation hasn’t
gone down that much with a range of 38 or 53 miles per charge. Although since 2019, the Volt
model has been discontinued by Chevrolet so they could focus on all-electric cars instead.
BMW i3 – Compared to some of the other EVs, the BMW i3 has a smaller battery pack
due to its petite size. But it makes up for these flaws with durability as Recurrent claims the i3’s
22 and 33 kilowatt battery packs can “hit 100,000 miles with around 80% of original capacity
remaining”. Of course the car’s mileage isn’t the greatest with older models able to go 100 miles
while newer ones go 153 miles per charge.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 – Being one of the newer EVs available, the Ioniq 5 from Hyundai
has a lot of technical advances that arguably make it better than its predecessors. For instance,
the company claims the car has “charging speeds that take you from 10% to 80% in under 20
minutes” as quoted by Recurrent . Additionally, it comes with a 10 year battery warranty and can
average a range of 229 – 391 miles a charge.
Ford Mustang Mach-E – When it came onto the scene, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E
made waves for being the company’s first all-electric vehicle. But it also attracted controversy
from Mustang fans, who claimed “Ford has committed semantic automotive blasphemy andheresy for putting the Mustang badge on anything other than a roaring, high-octane fueled, two-
door sports coupe” as reported by CleanTechnica . In spite of this, the Mustang Mach-E is
reputed to go 305 miles per charge with earlier models going 151 and 378 miles on average.
For more information on electric vehicles (EVs) and their warranties, feel free to contact attorney
Rick Wagner .