Like the batteries in your laptop and smartphone, electric car batteries lose some of their capacity over time. But how long does an electric car battery last, and how can you extend your car's battery life? Read on to find out about the battery life in your Ford electric car. 

Electric car batteries are actually battery packs made of thousands of lithium-ion cells. As you drive around and use the vehicle's electrical systems, your car discharges that stored energy until the battery needs to be charged again.

The life of an electric car's battery is typically measured in charge cycles — the number of times the battery is fully charged and discharged. Like other devices powered by lithium-ion cells, the amount of charge your battery can hold decreases as the battery pack degrades over time. This degradation process usually begins at around 1,500 to 2,000 cycles. 

Today, most electric car batteries have a life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years. However, as technology develops, you can expect that lifespan to increase.

What Factors Can Affect an Electric Car's Battery Life?

Here are the key factors that affect the battery life of your electric vehicle:

Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures disrupt the chemical reactions that allow your electric car's battery to store and release energy. This causes your battery to lose capacity over time or become damaged and ineffective. High temperatures can speed up the degradation of lithium-ion cells, while low temperatures can reduce charging efficiency. 


Although this may seem counterintuitive, it's actually better for lithium-ion batteries not to be fully charged frequently. A fully charged battery may give you the longest operating time, but it can be detrimental to the overall lifespan of the battery. The battery's capacity will reduce slightly every time you charge it over 80%.

Running the Battery Flat

Just as you shouldn't top your battery up to 100%, you also shouldn't drain it to 0% too often. When you exhaust the capacity of your batteries, a deep discharge occurs. Battery cells have a cut-off point, which is a set voltage at which the battery is considered fully discharged. Exhaustion can cause twice as much electric discharge as the battery can support. Because of over-discharging, the battery will have increased internal resistance, which makes recharging difficult. 

Rapid Charging

If your electric car's battery is about to run out, fast charging can be very convenient. However, it can press so much current into your batteries in a short period that it results in high temperatures, which can strain the battery and cause it to wane faster. 

How To Extend the Life of Your Electric Car's Battery Life

Here are the steps you can take to preserve the longevity of your electric car's battery:

1. Charge the Battery Between 20% and 80%

The lifespan of your battery usually depends on how much it's charged. To extend its life, make sure to stay between 20% and 80% charge. Going beyond these limits can increase the rate at which the battery deteriorates over time. Consider charging your battery fully only for long-distance trips.

2. Minimize Rapid Charging

It's perfectly fine to use a DC rapid charging when you're on a trip and want to recharge your car in half an hour. However, it's best not to use that charging method on a daily basis, as it can speed up your battery's degradation. If you can slow charge your battery overnight, you probably should.

3. Maintain Moderate Temperatures

Storing and operating your electric car in moderate climates is another way to extend its battery life. If you live in an area with a warmer climate, parking your car in a well-shaded area can help. Cooling your vehicle before charging can also help your battery last longer. 

4. Follow Your Electric Car's Manufacturer Guidelines

It's important to follow your electric car's specific guidelines for optimal battery performance, as well as keep your car's software up to date. Each manufacturer uses different battery chemistries and cooling technologies, so each will have its own set of optimal charging and operating instructions. 

5. Avoid Abrupt Braking or Acceleration

Abrupt braking or acceleration drains the battery quickly and causes performance issues. Aside from challenging driving conditions, rapid acceleration or aggressive driving will lead to draining the battery faster. Consider driving at a moderate pace under reasonable driving conditions to prevent quicker discharge of the battery.

6. Control the Optimal Battery State of Charge During Long Storage

Leaving your electric car parked for too long with an empty or full battery can also contribute to the degradation. If you're going to spend a significant amount of time away from your car, make sure to fill the batteries up to somewhere between 20% and 80%. 

7. Don't Charge Your Electric Car Every Night

Regardless of whether you're charging the vehicle fully or only topping up the batteries by a few percent, each time the batteries charge, you put stress on them. As a result, the capacity of the batteries is fractionally reduced. If you want to avoid compounding this over time, make sure not to plug your car in every night. Consider charging your car only when it's necessary to extend its battery life. 

8. Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can greatly improve your car's performance. Consider having the batteries tested at regular service intervals. If your mechanic finds one or more weak battery cells, they can recondition the battery to prolong its life. 

Schedule a Professional Service at Apple Ford of York

Apple Ford of York offers a team of highly skilled technicians to keep your electric car's battery in good condition. You can also schedule an appointment for other services, such as an oil change, tire repair, and brake replacement. If you think that your car isn't running quite right, consider bringing it in to have one of our experts take a look at it. We offer diagnostics and services for your pre-owned or new Ford. 

Reach out to us today so we can book your service appointment. You can also visit our dealership at 1801 Whiteford Road, York, and see our extensive inventory of new and pre-owned Ford vehicles.

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