How Long Do Electric Cars Last?

By Russ Heaps 08/21/2023 12:00pm

2023 Tesla Model X in white.

An electric car will last as long as a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE), if not longer, because electric vehicles (EVs) don’t have all the mechanical components of an ICE vehicle. In other words, there are more things that can wear out or go wrong in an ICE car than in an EV.

The nationwide average age of a car is now 12.5 years. It’s a number that has been steadily rising for the past few years. Electric cars are a recent enough development that we don’t have a deep well of data to draw from. However, there is no reason to believe that an EV won’t last as long as an ICE vehicle if taken care of. Read on to learn more about EV battery life.

Electric Car Battery Life

Since the introduction of hybrids more than 20 years ago, battery replacement may well top the list of concerns for the electric-curious. This concern has only deepened with the proliferation of fully electric vehicles with larger, costlier batteries. Experts place the percentage of the battery cost of a new EV at an average of 30% to 40% of the car’s total cost. According to Digital Trends, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $20,000 for a replacement battery. For example, a replacement battery for a Tesla Model 3 costs about $13,500 as of this writing.

The good news is that these batteries can last from 15 to 20 years. Consequently, the original batteries could outlive the electric vehicles they power. Most EV batteries are warranty protected for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The rest are covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, or even more.

RELATED: Average American Car Now 12.5 Years Old

Yes, electric car batteries degrade over time, causing reduced charging capacities. However, many EV battery warranties include replacement if the capacity drops below a certain level during the coverage period. The odds of an EV battery simply failing entirely are extremely low.