How Far Does an Electric Car Go?
The words “electric car” seem to be on everyone’s lips at the moment. Modern and environmentally friendly, 🍃 the EV seems to solve many of the problems caused by fuel-powered cars, however, is it as reliable as your old car? How long do electric cars last? How many miles can an electric car go? Let’s dive right in and learn the answers to these questions! 😊
How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?
Experts say that EV batteries can go up to 20 years before needing replacement.
The lifespan of an electric car depends on various different factors: the model of the vehicle, its frequency of use, and the type of roads travelled. That is why can be difficult to establish a precise figure, especially since most EV technology is very recent and continually improving. But most car buyers still want to have an idea of how many years electric car batteries can last.
The longevity of your electric car is also dependent on how well you take care of it. EVs require much less maintenance than petrol or diesel cars. No oil changes, no engine checking, and so many other issues that are so typical with conventional vehicles. EVs also only have to be checked approximately every 18,000 miles, compared to every 10,000 to 12,000 miles for a diesel or petrol car.
How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last Before Recharging?
Nowadays, you’ll find that EVs will typically last 150 to 300 miles with a full charge. However, because the battery size varies from one model to another, you’ll find that your EV’s range may be different. A cheaper and smaller 40kWh battery will only have a range of around 150 miles, whereas a large 100kWh Tesla battery could go as far as 375 miles. We’ll most likely see this changing in the near future because of how quickly electric car technology and manufacturing are progressing.
Real-world versus official range
Driving an electric vehicle can cause you to experience what’s called “range anxiety.” This is the feeling that you get when you worry that the electric car doesn’t have enough range to complete your journey, even if it’s been fully charged.
When you buy a new laptop, it's not uncommon to see one of the shiny back-of-the-box selling points focus on its 10-hour battery life. But when it comes to using it, with multiple browsers and programs open, you get something closer to six or seven hours.
It's kind of the same with electric cars; the official range is the manufacturer's suggestion about how far their car can go on a full battery charge. They usually conclude the millage after working out the details in a lab, considering different factors in the process.
The result is a fairly accurate estimate, but it is just that – an estimate.
On the other hand, the real-world range provides a more accurate description of what sort of mileage you can expect to get with your electric car. It's affected by a load of factors, from the speed you drive to the weather. Because of this, it's safe to say that the real-world range is slightly lower than the official range.
So how far can an electric vehicle drive?
The mileage of an electric vehicle varies depending on the manufacturer. If we're going by an average, you're looking at around 195 miles, give or take.
As technology improves, so does the mileage on an electric car. Nowadays, it's not uncommon to find models that can do a whopping 300 or 400 miles on one charge. So not only could you go on a domestic road trip; you could potentially visit another country.
Car manufacturers are competing to have the car that goes the furthest on one single charge. As a consumer, that's good news for you, and you can expect electric cars of the future to potentially travel for even longer, meaning fewer charges and more mileage.
Factors Affecting the Range of an Electric Car
The range claimed by car manufacturers may seem impressive, but in reality, there are a good number of factors that will affect how far your car can go.
An electric car’s range is dependent on the capacity of its battery. The newer it is, the better. It’s the same as the battery life of your laptop or smartphone, which diminishes after a certain period. As your electric vehicle gets older, it will have a shorter range.
If your car has a big battery, measured in kWh, then you can expect that it can take you further than a vehicle with a smaller battery. Imagine it as a fuel tank. The bigger the tank, the more fuel is stored and the longer you can drive before needing to refuel.
Driving Style and Other Factors
A lot of car manufacturers are actually honest about the range of their vehicles. Some may even provide tools so you can assess the various factors that can affect the car’s range, such as the use of the heater, weather conditions, topography, speed, and driving style.
Tips for Making Your EV Battery Last Longer
The key ways you can make your electric car's battery last longer include:
- Go easy on the accelerator
- Avoid unnecessary weight in the car (roof rack, stuff in the boot)
- Start smooth and anticipate slowdowns
- Use air conditioning sparingly and only when all vehicle windows are closed
- Prepare your route to avoid detours
- Keep windows closed when driving at high speed
Some of the above involve pretty basic usage of a car. Driving an electric vehicle with a full boot or using the air-con won't dramatically affect your mileage. But if you're looking to get every last drop out of your car, then you might want to strip back on using some of the extra features.
If you want to optimise the battery life of your electric car, it is recommended to keep it between a 20% and 80% charge level as often as you can. Make sure you let your battery run out of juice and then fill up to 100% about once a year. This way, the Battery Management System (BMS), which calculates the charge level, will better understand how your battery works. It is also advisable to avoid fast charging in hot weather, especially on entry-level models with batteries that are not always equipped with a liquid cooling system (in this case, the charge will freeze or be reduced).
To increase the battery life of your electric car, it is better to use it regularly, even for small distances, rather than on long, infrequent journeys.
The electric car world is ever-changing. There are so many technological advances and innovations that it’s hard to keep up. In a few years' time, the typical EV battery may have tripled in range, could take a fraction of the time it does now to charge up and might last decades without any input whatsoever. The industry is evolving at a fast pace, and it is ever so exciting to see what the manufacturers come up with. We might even see EVs with solar panels to allow for off-grid charging, making it even more cost-effective to own an electric car. Wireless charging stations are also under development. In the future, it might even be possible for drivers to park over a spot and charge their car without having to plug anything in!