“Ask any electric car maker how long the main drive battery will last and the loudest sound you’ll hear is the shuffling of feet. No one wants to answer the question, yet it’s crucial data for consumers, for the EV market as a whole, for the Government’s electrification strategy and for the environment. An understanding of a car’s longevity is a vital part of assessing its value during its life”.Andrew English Daily Telegraph – 28 March 2021
Asking the wrong question
Unfortunately Andrew English fails to ask the right question and therefore doesn’t get the information that a buyer, particularly a buyer of a Second-hand Electric car needs.
The question in the quote above was correct, but the subsequent research should have been about the car, not the battery!
The problem with any demand for data over a long term is if there isn’t any! By definition, only Electric cars which have been on sale for 10 years are able to provide data covering a 10 year lifespan, i.e. the Nissan Leaf.
However this article fails to acknowledge the dramatic improvement in batteries over that period.
It also completely ignores the ability to Refurbish a battery, by replacing individual cells. A battery typically consists of hundreds of cells, each of which resembles a rechargeable AA battery. Replacement batteries and Upgrades are also available.
Refurbishment and Replacement
The article references the original Nissan LEAF only offered a small amount of range. However, now, you can get a Nissan LEAF Plus with some 226 miles of EPA-rated range. So, regardless of any degradation over time, and depending on your driving situation, the LEAF Plus is a solid EV option.
[Using quote from InsideEVs]
Although investment in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) only improves performance by a very limited amount, the same investment directed to Electric vehicles makes a massive improvement possible.
This can be understood from Wright’s Law, which says that improvement is derived from cumulative production. A million additional sales of ICE is negligible, whereas a million additional sales of Electric vehicles is currently significant.
Both the batteries themselves and Battery Management Systems are improving all the time.