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Millions of EV drivers worry about replacing their battery pack – or even their car – when the battery pack dies. But how long before they can expect this large expense?

Last week, owners and potential drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles using lithium-ion batteries were given peace of mind by scientists at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

How? We know how long to expect our car’s battery pack to live.

“The battery pack could be used during a quite reasonable period of time ranging from 5 to 20 years depending on many factors,” said Mikael G. Cugnet, Ph.D., who spoke on the topic. “That’s good news when you consider that some estimates put the average life expectancy of a new car at about eight years.

Cugnet explained many factors affect battery lifespan, such as:

–      Battery temperature (over 86 F will affect battery performance)

–      state of charge (fully charged batteries are more vulnerable to losing power at higher temperatures)

–      charge protocol (draining then recharging or topping up)

One obvious saving is the cost of fuel over a car’s lifetime, but EV drivers should also think about the “second life” uses for batteries that could make them valuable even after they’ve lost too much power to be useful in cars. These applications include backup power for computers and medical equipment, for example. This form of recycling offers environmental benefits too.

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