Electric Vehicles: Heat & Fast-Charging Responsible For More Battery Degradation

A company called GeoTab has created an Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Degradation Tool to assess how battery life is impacted by 5 factors:

  • Time
  • High temperatures
  • Operating at high and low state of charge
  • High electric current
  • Usage (energy cycles)

After analyzing the battery health of 6,300 fleet and consumer EVs over 1.8 million days of operation, the GeoTab tool can now provide insight into how conditions in the real world influence the battery health of 21 electric car models from various manufacturers over a number of years.

In developing the tool, GeoTab found that the the two biggest factors affecting the life of EV batteries are battery cooling and frequent high power DC charging. Age and number of miles driven are far less important to how long a battery lasts.

Based on data from over 6,000 electric vehicles, spanning all the major makes and models, the average electric car battery will retain about 90% of its initial capacity after 6 years and 6 months of service.

But individual models vary considerably. The battery in a Nissan LEAF, which does not have an active cooling system for its battery, will degrade twice as fast as the battery in a Tesla.

GeoTab offers these suggestions to maximize the life of your EV battery:

  • Avoid keeping your car sitting with a full or empty charge.
  • Minimize fast charging (DCFC).
  • Climate is out of an operator’s control, but do what you can to avoid extreme hot temperatures, such as choosing shade when parked on hot days.
  • High-use is not a concern, so fleets shouldn’t hesitate to put them to work.

If you have an electric car, drive it and be happy knowing at least you are not leaving any carbon dioxide or particulates in your wake. 

Reference- GeoTab website, Clean Technica, InsideEVs website