What determines the life of an EV battery?

28-07-2021
As electric car (EV) sales continue to ramp up and we learn more about the pros and cons of people considering an EV, it appears that there are still concerns about the battery life. But is that justified? Learn what affects the battery of an EV and what MG does to reassure customers.

Let’s start with the fact that no clear answer can be given about the lifespan of an EV battery yet. The thousands of electric cars that have been scrutinized in recent years by various researchers to map the decline in battery capacity, do not provide a clear picture. That’s because it depends on all kinds of factors during the life of the EV, while there are also differences between the batteries of different manufacturers.

What can we say for sure?

The amount of charge that a lithium-ion EV battery can hold, and therefore how far you can drive the car on a single charge, also depends on how often the battery goes through a full charge cycle. So how often an empty battery is fully charged again.

To what extent this has an effect on the capacity loss of the battery, depends on the number of kilometres the EV is driven and how often the battery is charged. So that’s got nothing to do with the age of the car. In theory, the battery of an EV of roughly 10 years old can be in a much better condition than a five-year-old EV that has been used intensively.

Maximize battery life

While the battery life is difficult to determine, there are several ways to maximize it. In the MG ZS EV for example, the battery is ‘buffered’. That means you can’t use the full amount of energy stored in the battery. This reduces the number of cycles the battery goes through.

If the battery is empty and the EV is not used for an extended period of time, the battery could depleted so much that it can no longer be charged. This is called ‘bricking’. However, MG models have a special system that prevents the battery from being completely discharged.

Another precaution to improve the battery life and which MG applies in all its vehicles, is battery temperature management. An EV battery performs optimally and can hold the most energy at temperatures between roughly 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. Keeping the battery at the ideal operating temperature, like the MG Marvel R Electric does with its climate control with an internal heat pump, you can get the most out of the battery in all weather conditions. This also means the battery doesn’t need to be charged as often.

What can you do yourself?

You can maximize the battery life by keeping the charge level between 20 and 80%. And if you aren’t going to use the car for a few weeks, when you are on a holiday for example, make sure the battery is at least half full. In this context, it’s good to know that with the new MG Marvel R Electric, you can set up the target battery charging level yourself. 

In any case, it doesn’t matter how you charge the battery. It’s often suggested that repeated fast-charging (DC) is harmful to the battery, but that’s not true. During charging, the battery is continuously monitored and the charging speed is automatically adjusted if necessary, for example if the battery threatens to become too hot.

What does MG do to earn your trust?

All MG models benefit from highly advanced battery technology with an impressive level of safety and durability. MG’s parent company, SAIC Motor, has been producing and developing electric vehicles since the beginning of the new decade. It therefore can be considered as one of the most experienced EV manufacturers in the world. At the same time, SAIC Motor works closely with CATL, the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer in China and one of the five largest in the world. SAIC Motor and CATL have formed a joint venture since 2017.

Furthermore, MG extended the manufacturer’s warranty of all models from 5 to 7 years with effect from 2021. The warranty of 7 years/150,000 km applies to the entire vehicle, including the electrical drive components such as the lithium-ion battery.

MG customers also benefit from free roadside assistance during the first year after registration. However, if the car is serviced at the MG Brandstore, roadside assistance is extended by one year each time for a maximum of seven consecutive years. The warranty is also transferable to the next owner.

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