If you’re considering leasing an electric vehicle (EV), you may have heard about battery degradation and wondered if it’s something you should worry about.
Most car manufacturers offer warranties of at least eight years or 100,000 miles on battery life, so you can rest assured that your EV will continue to perform at a high level for the duration of your lease.
Second, because you are leasing a vehicle, should the battery start to degrade seriously, then it’s not your problem because it’s covered under the warranty.
Battery degradation is the gradual reduction in a battery’s ability to hold a charge over time. This can be caused by a number of factors, including heat or cold, age, and frequency of use.
It’s something you’ve probably experienced in the past with the battery in your old petrol or diesel car. After three years or more, when you come to start the car in cold weather it struggles to turn the engine over. Eventually, the battery simply can’t hold enough charge to deliver the current required for the car’s crucial electrical functions.
With EVs it’s different, of course. The battery is essentially ‘the engine’ and thanks to advances in technology, not to mention their sheer size, EV batteries are designed to retain their charging capacity for much longer than traditional car batteries. Some estimates put it as much as 20 years.
This means that even if your EV’s battery does start to degrade after say eight years (highly unlikely), it will still be able to hold charge, but won’t offer you quite the same range as it once did.
Anyway, you’re leasing an EV so your rental period won’t extend beyond four years – so it won’t be your problem anyway. It’s more of an issue for the used car market. And that’s no doubt one of the reasons you’ve decided to lease a brand new EV.
Age and the amount of cycles the electric cells have gone through that make up the battery are the key issues.
It is recommended to keep your EV battery charge level between 20%-80% full (unless you’re going on a journey that requires the full charge of course!). Constantly charging to 100% tends to affect battery health, so if you are home charging, and don’t need the full amount of range, use the car’s app to stop the charging once it gets to 80% full.
Continuous use of DC fast chargers will also affect battery life in terms of range available, but sophisticated software prevents batteries from overcharging. It’s why the last 20% takes so long at a public chargepoint – and why it’s best to only go as far as 80%.
So battery degradation is not something you need worry about when leasing an EV. You can be fully confident that your car will continue to perform at a high level for the duration of your lease.
We’ve dealt with the EV’s battery – it will be fine as we’ve explained – but what about the rest of your running costs?
You can ensure that there are no unexpected expenses, such as new tyres, if you take out a maintenance contract with your lease agreement.
If you have a puncture, for example, the maintenance agreement will cover this.
EV tyres have a specialist construction – they are taller and have a stronger sidewall to take the additional weight of the battery – and it’s important to replace like with like. You certainly don’t want to consider a budget tyre replacement which won’t deliver the quietness and efficiency of the original tyre fitment.
The maintenance agreement will pay for the new tyre and its fitting, while also covering you for servicing requirements.
So if you include maintenance, apart from the monthly rental on your EV lease, the only thing you need to do is pay for the electricity. Which means you can budget your motoring expenses precisely – an important consideration during the cost of living crisis. And enjoy the experience of driving an electric car.
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