Tuesday, January 31, 2023
News The degradation of batteries is concerning in the UK

The degradation of batteries is concerning in the UK

  • When the battery capacity reaches 80 %, its life cycle is near its useful cycle.
  • Battery degradation varies from car models.
  • EV owners can still use their cars even when the battery is at 80 %.


Ever since the electric car became part of our lives, one question has been on everyone’s lips: the durability of the battery. Without this necessary component, any EV is grounded. According to an article from Autocar, there are concerns about the life span of EVs. A few specialized companies report that some cars reach the end of their battery capacity after only eight years, or even sooner in some cases.

SPS (Silver Power Systems) specializes in battery performance analysis, with software that tracks and monitors battery data and health. SPS claims to have observed wide variations in performance, particularly within car fleets. According to SPS, when a battery’s capacity reaches 80 percent, it is at the end of its useful life. In some cases, variations in battery health within a fleet can be as much as 10 percent, which ultimately equates to half of the battery’s useful life.

However, SPS experts reassure electric vehicle users that they can continue to use a car even when the battery capacity is down to 80%. On the other hand, when the level reaches 70%, the degradation is accelerating.

2019 BMW i3 EV
2019 BMW i3 EV | Photo: BMW

The British publication’s article also cited Geotab, a telematics provider that also specializes in measuring the health of vehicle batteries. According to Geotab, the average battery degradation over six years is 13.5 percent.

Geotab also illustrated its point with three examples: a few BMW i3s (the oldest being from the 2017 model year) showed a degradation index of 16% after less than three years. The other example involved some Nissan Leafs (the oldest being from 2014) that saw their batteries lose almost 23% after six years. In contrast, the few Tesla Model S (the oldest 2015) sampled had only degraded by 10%.

Consumers interested in electric cars need not worry about battery degradation however. In fact, the Recovas venture, which includes EMR, a vehicle recycling company, a few car manufacturers, the University of Warwick and the UK Battery Industrialisation Center, is working to develop an end-of-life supply chain for electric vehicles. According to EMR’s managing director, batteries last longer than expected and in the case of those vehicles with severely degraded batteries, he says that for the owners involved, the lower price and limited use can still meet the needs of those users.

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