How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last?

October 31, 2012
electric car battery on wheels

An electric car battery is costly, but can last as much as 100,000 miles. They usually come with a 10 year or mileage limit warranty.

The capacity of an electric car battery depends on its size and the materials with which it was made. The best material to make an electric car battery at the moment is lithium, but this is also the most expensive variety. This will eventually change as newer, more efficient battery chemistries are developed.

Batteries with higher capacities are more expensive, and in some electric car manufacturers, such as Tesla Motors, you can choose which battery to have in your car. The capacity of a battery can go down over time, so make sure to maintain it well. Do not leave it plugged in after it is fully charged because this will hurt the capacity.

Electric Car Battery Manufacturers
There are few manufacturers of electric car batteries. One is A123 Systems—the first company in the United States to sell electric car batteries, they contracted with Chrysler in 2009 to supply the lithium ion batteries.

They come in a variety of voltages depending on your vehicle needs. It is slowly becoming easier to find electric car battery manufacturers in the United States, but it is still easier to find them internationally.

Different Batteries for Different Needs
Depending on your particular electric vehicle needs, there are different batteries you can choose from. There are lithium ion (lithium iron phosphate) batteries; lithium-titanate; ni-cad (nickel-cadmium) and lead acid batteries. Some vehicles require 12 to 24 batteries, depending on what they require for distance and speed.

How to Recycle an Electric Car Battery

If you have an old electric car battery you would like to get rid of or recycle, you can't just set it out on the curb for the trash collector to haul it away for you. A lithium ion battery or caustic lead acid batteries are toxic waste that the local waste disposal service is not equipped to handle.

Trade It In
When you purchase a new electric car battery, you can often trade the old battery into the shop. Many service centers or repair shops take old car batteries in on trade when installing new ones. You may even be eligible for a small rebate on the price of your new battery. Even if you can't get a few dollars for the old battery, the garage and service center should be able to dispose of the old battery for you at no charge.

Use a Battery Recycler or Drop-Off Point
Visit Earth911 to find battery recyclers in your area as well. On this site you can simply enter the type of battery you want to recycle, along with your zip code, and you'll be shown a list of locations in your area where you can drop off your old electric car battery for recycling.

In most cases, there is no paperwork to fill out and you can simply leave it with one of the shop's technicians. The recycling agent or drop off center will then dispose of the battery properly or send it to a battery remanufacturing plant so it can be refurbished and used again.

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