Watts the Deal? Exploring the Factors Behind Electric Car Battery Aging

Hastin Energy
2 min readJan 15, 2024

Electric vehicles (EVs) have revolutionized the automotive industry by offering a cleaner and more sustainable mode of transportation. However, the journey towards greener mobility comes with its own set of challenges, with one of the most critical being the degradation of battery packs. In this blog, we’ll explore the factors that contribute to battery degradation in electric vehicles and discuss strategies to mitigate its impact.

Temperature: The Heat of the Matter

Electric vehicle batteries are sensitive to temperature extremes. Both high and low temperatures can accelerate the degradation process. In hot climates, excessive heat can lead to chemical reactions that compromise the battery’s longevity. Similarly, extremely cold temperatures can slow down the chemical processes within the battery, affecting its performance. To counter this, EV owners need to park in shaded areas when possible and leverage thermal management systems integrated into modern electric vehicles.

Charge and Discharge Cycles: The Pulse of Power

Every time you charge and discharge your EV’s battery, it undergoes a cycle. While modern lithium-ion batteries are designed to handle numerous cycles, each cycle contributes to gradual degradation. Opting for partial charge cycles and avoiding deep discharges can help mitigate this impact.

Overcharging and Over-discharging: Balancing Act

Overcharging and over-discharging can significantly accelerate battery degradation. Charging beyond the recommended limits and discharging the battery to extremely low levels can strain its internal components. EV owners should follow manufacturer guidelines for charging and avoid practices that push the battery to its limits. Advanced Battery Management Systems (BMS) in modern electric vehicles play a crucial role in preventing overcharging and over-discharging.

Low or High State of Charge: Finding the Sweet Spot

Keeping an electric vehicle consistently at either low or high states of charge for prolonged periods can impact battery health. Aim for a nominal state of charge to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Regular use and periodic charging within the recommended state of charge range help maintain a balanced and healthy battery.

Natural Degradation: The Inevitable Process

Over time, all batteries naturally degrade, leading to a reduction in their capacity. This is an inherent characteristic of lithium-ion batteries. While it’s impossible to completely halt this process, manufacturers are investing in research and development to create longer-lasting battery technologies

Conclusion:

As electric vehicles continue to reshape the automotive landscape, understanding and addressing battery degradation is crucial for maximizing the lifespan of EVs. By being mindful of factors such as temperature, charge cycles, overcharging, state of charge, and natural degradation, EV owners can take proactive steps to ensure their vehicles remain efficient and sustainable for years to come.

By S Nithine Balajee

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