Everything You Need to Know About Electric Car Range and Battery Health

The millionth new plug-in car sold in Britain rolled out of a showroom last month but sales of electric vehicles appear to be slowing as total registrations remain stalled at historically low levels.

When choosing an electric car to either buy or lease, the range is one of the most important statistics to consider to make sure that you get the right car for you.

Whether you are able to easily drive to work and back, make it to the next electric car charging port, or end up having to call out a specialist EV breakdown service to give your car a charge at the side of the road so that you can make it home will depend on the range of the car that you choose.

One of the most important things to consider is that electric cars cannot travel as far as a traditional combustion engine car before they need to be ‘filled up’ or have the battery charged. Because of this, the range and battery charging has been one of the most discussed and scrutinised aspect of electric cars since they first appeared on the market.

How Far Can You Travel on a Full Charge?

When the battery has been fully charged, an electric car can go much further than you might think. And as EVs become more and more popular and are being improved and finessed all the time, you’ll find that the newer models can often go much further on one charge compared to those in the past. When it comes to getting an electric car that meets your needs in terms of how far it can travel on a full charge, there is now much choice available than ever before for drivers.

Some EVs are available in different variants with different range times due to various battery sizes that you can choose from. An increasing number of electric cars today are now capable of being able to travel over two hundred miles on a single charge, with some going over three hundred miles without needing to stop and plug in.

How Many Miles Can You Get Out of a Full Charge?

For the most part, modern electric cars today can travel anywhere between one hundred and fifty and three hundred miles on a full battery charge. This tends to offer enough for a wide variety of drivers including those who travel both longer and shorter distances on a regular basis. The EV’s range depends on the size of the battery along with several other factors such as the aerodynamics and the size of the car itself. The battery heating efficiency, and the outside temperature can also have an impact on how many miles you can drive on a single charge in your EV. For example, you’re likely to get a longer range in the summer when the car is not using as much power to heat up.

How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last?

Like any other battery in the rechargeable devices that you might use on a regular basis such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, over time, the battery in your electric car will start to degenerate and lose some efficiency. Almost all electric vehicles that are available today have a lithium-ion battery that is the main power unit of the car. As these batteries are charged and then lose charge with use, they naturally degrade with time and will eventually need to be replaced. However, this should not be a cause for concern for anybody who is considering buying or leasing an electric vehicle, as they do last a long time – around ten years or more – with the right maintenance and care.

How Often Do Electric Car Batteries Need to Be Charged?

The average car in the UK travels around 7500 miles annually, according to data from the Department for Transport. If you are an average driver in terms of how many miles you cover in your car per year, then you are likely travelling around just under twenty miles per day or one hundred and fifty miles per week. With an electric car with a slightly shorter range of around 150 miles, then an average mileage driver will usually only need to charge the battery once per week, or some might prefer to charge the battery more often for shorter periods of time. Experts suggest charging your EV battery little and often, keeping the charge level between 20 and 80 percent at any given time to preserve it. You can read the how long guide here to find out more.

Can You Increase the Range of Your Electric Vehicle?

Like any other vehicle, the range and efficiency of your electric car will be impacted by your driving habits. This might be something that you find fairly easy to get used to if you have been driving a traditional combustion engine car for some time, as every driver knows that how you drive can have a significant impact on fuel use. The faster you are going, particularly if you hit speeds of over sixty-five miles per hour, the faster your battery charge will begin to dwindle as a side effect of the increasing pressure and rolling resistance.

Taking advantage of the regenerative braking feature that is used by most modern electric cars today will also help you preserve the range for longer. This type of braking slows the car down when you lift your foot off the accelerator, leaving no need to press the brake pedal. As a result, electricity is generated to store in the battery each time you slow the car down. While regenerative braking can take some getting used to if you have been driving a traditional combustion engine car, using it as much as possible can help you keep your EV travelling for longer.

Looking After the Battery in Your EV

It’s a good idea to set your car to charge to just 80% rather than 100%, according to battery health research conducted by Geotab. This is easy enough to do with most electric cars these days. Although charging to 100% might be okay to do every once in a while on those days when you are going to be travelling a longer distance than usual and will need some additional range, keeping it at 80% can make all the difference when it comes to preserving your battery health and making sure that your battery lasts for longer.

How to Handle Range Anxiety as a New EV Driver

Range anxiety is a fear that you might experience when you first get an electric car and are getting used to it. If you’re anxious about running out of battery power when you are on the road and won’t have enough charge to reach your destination, then you are not alone. However, the good news is that most EV drivers find that once they have an EV and have gotten used to driving it, you’ll experience this anxiety less and less over time. Running out of battery charge is not very common, and as long as you understand the capabilities of your battery, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

If you are thinking of switching to an electric car, then it’s important to understand batteries, range, and how to ensure your car has enough charge to get to where you’re going.