Friday, May 27, 2022

Electric Vehicles Can Last As Long As Your Gas- Or Diesel-Powered Car


One of the biggest concerns surrounding electric vehicles centers around the battery, specifically its lifespan. Some of us who keep their mobile phones or laptops for a lengthy period of time would know that after a while, worn batteries won’t keep their charge as well as newer ones.

This is down to a chemistry problem. In a healthy battery, ions flow freely between a cathode and an anode. Charging a battery forces ions from the cathode to the anode; using the battery reverses the flow. Over time, this process wears out the cathode, which results in reduced capacity.

In battery terms, this is known as a battery charge cycle. A battery charge cycle refers to the complete drainage and recharge of a battery: draining a battery to zero percent and recharging it to 100 percent is equal to one battery charge cycle. A charge cycle can also be completed by using 50 percent of the battery, recharging it to 100 percent and then repeating this procedure. The same goes for every time a battery’s topped up; it shaves a few seconds off its maximum battery life.

Because of the lithium-ion battery’s inherent chemistry, it loses about 20 percent of its capacity between 1,000 to 2,000 charge cycles. For example, my 53-month-old iPhone 8 currently has 77 percent of its maximum capacity (based on the Battery Health monitor). While that’s practical in a phone, it’s not so practical for a car that’s expected to last well over ten years.

In order to prolong battery life, EV manufacturers put in place measures to ensure that the batteries last longer. One of those measures is an energy management system that prevents complete charging and discharging, guaranteeing that batteries take longer to reach the harmful cycles. Over time, the batteries will still lose its capacity, but it’ll take nearly a decade for you to notice dips in performance.

The Weltmeister W5, for example, retains 95 percent of its efficiency after 160,000 kilometers thanks to its on-board energy management system. Assuming that a person drives 10,000 kilometers per year, that’s 16 years. Even if you drive double that, that’s still a serviceable life of at least eight years.

Meanwhile, for BYD, thanks to a combination of their energy management system and proprietary Lithium-Iron Phosphate Blade Battery, they’ve further broken the mold. During their battery cell tests, they’ve managed to keep an 80 percent charge rating at 4,000 cycles—about double that of typical EVs. This means a 15-year service life or more without significant changes to overall range. This makes it a truly viable alternative to a regular combustion engine vehicle. It’s no wonder Toyota’s recognized the technology, and will adopt it into its entry-level EVs.

Heat is another known enemy of battery life. Skeptics may worry about the Philippines’ tropical climate, but modern EVs are equipped with a thermal management system, typically using the air conditioner’s refrigerant, to keep everything at optimal temperatures.

The bigger worry is actually the continued use of rapid DC chargers. DC charging is the most convenient form of juicing up an EV because a battery can be topped up in minutes. However, the problem with this is that they generate high heat which increases chemical reactions in the batteries, accelerating the degradation. The solution would be to treat EVs the same way you treat your phones: you never leave the house with an empty, or half-charged phone. All it takes is to habitually charge your EV at night, using the slower AC chargers primarily, and go for the DC chargers only in cases of emergency.

In the near future, EV manufacturers are studying ways to prolong the service life of their vehicles, or at least make batteries serviceable. These include Geely’s swappable battery service which has been rolled out in China, and Nissan’s refurbishing of its batteries.

There’s no stopping the world’s shift to an all-electric future. In fact, it’s already happening not just in foreign countries, but in neighboring ASEAN countries as well. It’s very likely that consumers won’t have any choice but to go EV, so it’s great to start learning more about them right now in preparation for that transition.

13 comments:

  1. And majority of the car owners won't believe because they think they're better than engineers using their "according to my research and theory" blah blah!

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  2. Maybe in a 5years time they can proved dear reliability, but for now h bter to buy a proven reliable hybrid

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  3. It's useless to buy EV this time. It's only good for Short terms but after the Battery end it's lifeline it cost you more a 10k USD. What's the benefits you gain? None . Headache.

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    1. And I will buy a fully loaded F150 Lightning anyway because negative comments like yours are a headache, not electric cars.

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  4. Chinese batteries/EVs? I don't trust chinese cars nor chinese batteries.

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  5. The biggest impediment to the shift in electric cars are the cost. Second, all this optimism about the shift to cleaner and greener cars should be tempered by the source of the electricity. Charging your EV sourced from a coal power plant is incredibly stupid. All for show. First world imperialism once again. Our country is not prepared for this shift and this will unduly burden our already weak economy. We just like to copy other countries just like we do their legislation without taking into consideration that it will not work in our shi**thole system.

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  6. Every tom dick and harry knows that its more harmful to the environment to produce EV batteries than a petrol engine. But we'll get to that. Theres no stopping the future..

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  7. I just wonder how more reliable would EVs be in the future when solid state batteries arrive...

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    1. Yes. Solid state batteries will ultimately be the game-changer for EVs. Once they're introduced, manufacturers such as Nissan say the cost will be equal to that of combustion engine vehicles.

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  8. It's easy to claim for manufacturers that their batteries can last for that long. They should show us actual proof, not some marketing BS created by their marketing team.

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    1. There's a marketing spin to it for sure, but the data is backed up by their engineering team so there is truth to their statements and findings.

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  9. If only they lower the tax on EVs.

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