How Long Does a Charge Last On An Electric Car? 5 Key Factors
Do you plan to purchase an electric car? Are you wondering how long does it take to charge an electric car? Or how long does a charge last on an electric car? No matter what your situation is, this post is for you!
According to official information from the US Environmental Protection Agency, their maximum range is estimated to be between 63 and 94 miles (100 and 150 kilometers). Due to new factors on the market, that average range number is now closer to 211 miles (341 kilometers).
Electrical cars (EVs) are continuously becoming more popular, especially among those who want cutting-edge design and prioritize eco-friendliness. What’s more, car enthusiasts nowadays prefer them because of the money-saving benefit they offer.
With the proliferation of charging stations in office buildings, shopping centers, and other public places, EVs have also become cheaper and easier to maintain. The federal government even offers as much as $7,500 tax incentives if you buy a new or used electric car.
On the other hand, the lack of charging stations in particular areas hinders electric vehicles’ popularity. Not only that, but car owners might also deal with slow charging times.
The Basics of Electric Car Battery
Electric cars usually use lithium-ion batteries to store energy. Other EV battery types, like solid-state batteries, are expected to power the motors in the future. But the lithium-ion battery type is favored by the current large-scale battery production.
Here are some benefits of using lithium-ion batteries:
· They provide more consistent voltage.
· They don’t need periodic full discharges or require any electrolyte maintenance.
· They are self-discharged at a lower rate.
· They have a higher energy density than traditional lead-acid batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries.
How Far Can One Electric Car Battery Chare Go?
Like conventional cars with small or big fuel tanks, electric cars’ lithium-ion batteries have varying sizes. Therefore, the time a charge lasts on an EV depends on the battery size.
Instead of liters of fuel, the battery’s capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Typically, a 40kWh battery pack for a mainstream electric vehicle is sufficient to power it for about 150 miles or more. The biggest 100kWh battery of Tesla is enough for 375 miles based on the WLTO standard.
Factors Affecting the Electric Vehicle’s Charging Time
Several factors can impact the charging times of your electric car, including your power source, the amount of power your EV can handle, and how you charge your vehicle and get back on the road quickly,
Some EV drivers can charge their vehicles up to 80% as quickly as 15-30 minutes with the use of a level 3 fast charger. However, most drivers require at least 24 hours to charge their depleted battery fully if they use 3-prong plugs in the walls.
Meanwhile, here are other factors that can affect your EV charging time:
If you use level 1 outlets, they can charge EV batteries at the lowest rate. A vehicle with more battery capacity will require more charging time and get the battery fully charged.
Car’s Maximum Charging Rate
You have to determine how much charge your electric car can handle at once. Remember, the maximum charge rate of a vehicle is static. This means you cannot save time by charging the batteries at more powerful charging stations.
Charging Station’s Power
The vehicle’s charging time can also depend on the charging station’s maximum charging rate. Even if you have charged your vehicle at a higher rate, it was only charged at the maximum power rate, which can largely impact the charging time.
Are you in an area with lower temperatures? Please note that lower temperatures can impact your electric car’s efficiency. They can also lengthen your charging time, particularly with rapid chargers.
Meanwhile, hot weather conditions can also impact the vehicle’s thermal management systems. And this affects your car’s efficiency. Also, hot conditions can test the EV’s internal resistance, which can increase the battery’s charging time.
Empty or Full Battery
Many drivers rarely charge their EVs from empty batteries. They often top up their car batteries rather than lengthening the charging time. That way, they can drive their car on a single charge. This allows them to save charging time.
What is The Battery’s Life Expectancy of Electric Vehicles?
The electric car battery life expectancy in many electric cars sold is around 8 to 10 years, but the exact lifespan depends on several factors, including how it is used and maintained.
The simplest way to determine your battery longevity is by checking the manufacturer’s warranty. Since replacing a battery pack is costly, automakers would not want to stick with the amount. This is particularly because most battery packs’ longevity and resiliency are overestimated.
Thus, the limited warranty of a battery can provide valuable insights into the minimum life expectancy of a typical pack. All electric vehicles sold today come with a battery warranty of at least 8 years and 100,000 miles.
For example, Tesla offers an 8-year battery warranty alongside coverage from 100,000 to 150,000 miles. But this still depends on the particular model.
Is It Possible to Recycle an Electric Car Battery?
Most EV manufacturers study how they can repurpose the batteries when they reach retirement age. For example, they are researching how EV batteries can be repurposed to power homes and buildings. On the other hand, there are still no definitive answers as to what will happen to the batteries used for electric cars when they are no longer recyclable.
The start of the battery’s useful life is the time that it is used in EVs. If you remove it from the car, it can still be fit for other jobs, like energy storage at home or in the electricity network.
Once the EV batteries reach the end of their working life, you can recycle them. This often involves separating different materials, including plastic, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, lithium salts, and cobalt.
Please note that only half of the EV battery pack’s materials are recyclable.
What are the Environmental Effects of Electric Car Batteries?
As you plan to buy an electric car, you might wonder if its battery is good or bad for the environment.
One of the most exciting things about EV battery degradation for people who care about the environment is that batteries can still be used after they are taken out of your EV.
Electric car batteries are fed back into the energy cycles for homes and factories once their service life has ended. If EV batteries are repurposed, a closed-loop recycling system can be created. In other words, factories that produce EV batteries can be powered with repurposed batteries.
Many large car manufacturers have already started repurposing their EV batteries in other areas. Nissan, for example, has expressed its plan to utilize retired EV batteries to back up the power in the Amsterdam Arena.
Toyota plans to install retired EV batteries outside convenience stores. EV batteries can be utilized to store power generated from solar panels soon. Then, the energy stored can be sued to support the power of fresh food counters, food warmers, and drink fridges within the stores.
Also, Renault announced that the Renault Zoe EV’s batteries would be repurposed to generate power for the home energy battery storage system called Powervault.
The Power Source for Charging EV Batteries
A level 1 power outlet at home can charge the least amount of power. If you use level 2 charges, expect to charge batteries twice the power.
But you will need professional help and a compatible circuit when installing a level 2 charger. Some companies developed splitters, allowing potential EV drivers to utilize a standard household garage outlet with no unique installation required.
Level 3 chargers use a high-voltage direct current that directly goes to the EV batteries. But these chargers are not compatible with all EVs. They are also hard to find and expensive. Tesla, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Hyundai offer this kind of charging system.
What Does EV Rapid Charging Mean?
Fast o rapid charging sounds convenient and easy. However, the speed has a caveat. If you take the fastest charging route, it can be reduced when the EV battery is above 80% or under 20% complete. This keeps the batteries from overcharging while keeping them in their optimum condition.
Most manufacturers gauge EV battery’s charging time by how long level 3 chargers can get the battery charged to 80%. They also plan to make rapid charging easier.
Maintenance and Safety of Electric Cars
Many EVs sold in the US have similar safety standards to most passenger vehicles. Also, EV battery packs are needed to be encased in sealed shells and can handle testing conditions associated with overcharging, fires, water immersions, accidents, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and short-circuiting.
Insulated high-voltage lines are necessary for using EVs. These vehicles must also deactivate their electrical systems if a short circuit or crash occurs. In many cases, battery-related EV fires are trickier to fight. However, this issue can be avoided if the vehicle features an internal combustion engine.
Maintaining an EV is a simple task. All you need to do is keep an eye on the rotors, brake pads, tires, and fluid (windshield wash, refrigerant, coolant). However, rotors are expected to last longer than vehicles with internal combustion engines. This is because the EV’s regenerative braking function puts less wear on the mechanical braking components.
How Do Electric Car batteries Work?
Internal combustion engines get their energy from burning petrol (gasoline) or diesel. On the contrary, an EV is powered directly by big lithium-ion battery packs. These EV batteries are vastly different from the heavy lead-acid batteries found in conventional cars.
EV batteries have complex systems called battery management systems (BMS) that track and control the flow of energy that goes in and out of the battery. This keeps the battery from being overcharged or drained and makes sure that driving is safe.
When it comes to battery basics, the terms “kWh” and “kilowatt-hour” represent an electric car’s battery capacity. The higher the kWh of your vehicle, the greater the EV’s range (driving range) for each electric charge.
Can EVs Go 500 Miles On One Charge?
How far can an electric car go on one charge? Lucid Air’s luxury electric sedan claims that it can travel over 500 miles. This is an impressive feat, made possible by Lucid Air’s next-generation EV battery technology.
Overall, the average EV battery pack’s can only hold up to around 400–500 miles of charge before needing to be recharged. When fully charged, the Tesla Model S can travel 405 miles. The Nissan Leaf, for example, has a range of only 149 miles.
The vehicle’s battery pack size is a key factor in the range a vehicle can travel on a full charge. You can charge and discharge the big pack of batteries for many cycles without causing a significant decrease in the battery’s capacity or range.
Many manufacturers offer a battery warranty that guarantees the battery will retain at least 70% of its capacity during the warranty period. The number of charge cycles has a significant impact on the overall battery lifespan.
Most vehicle drivers today switched to electric vehicles due to their unique benefits. And by 2040, it is expected that two-thirds of passenger vehicle sales will be due to EVs.
So, if you plan to buy an electric car, it is critical to know how long a single charge can last, the EV battery’s environmental impact, and whether or not you can repurpose the EV’s battery.
Last Updated on: January 27, 2023