Electric vehicle battery life

Find out more about EV batteries and how to best maintain them.

EV batteries - built to last the distance

EV batteries are sophisticated pieces of equipment designed to last many years - owners can get the best out of them and extend battery life by looking after them.

EV manufacturers are increasingly offering battery warranties of five to 10 years or more. Like any product, owners can expect their EV batteries to last well beyond the end of the warranty period.

The ability for a battery to hold a full charge reduces over time (and the associated range of the vehicle reduces), but that doesn’t stop the car from working well.

To help EV owners get the most out of their batteries, we have highlighted some recommended practices and developed a best practice guide.

EV battery recommended practices

There are two ways an EV battery can gradually fall in performance:

  • Calendar degradation - the way the EV is parked and stored.
  • Cyclic degradation - the way the EV is driven and recharged.

Rates of degradation can be slowed down by following these recommended practices.

  • Driving an EV efficiently to minimise stress on the battery - this will give you the best daily range, and help your battery last longer.
  • Minimising frequent fast charging.
  • Minimising recharging to full every day, unless needed.
  • New Zealand’s temperate climate is good for maximising battery life, but in times of extreme temperatures, try to park in the shade or indoors.
  • In very cold weather (i.e. below freezing), plug in when you can to take advantage of your EV's battery thermal management systems, which will regulate the battery’s temperature, preventing cold weather from negatively impacting on battery life.
  • When storing your EV for an extended period, follow battery care instructions in your manual.
  • Always have your EV serviced by an authorised person and never attempt it yourself.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations regarding regular check-ups.

EV battery best practice guide

Read our guide below for simple tips on caring for EV batteries, and check the owner’s manual, available online, for more detailed advice. It should explain warranty conditions to ensure you get the full protection of your manufacturer’s warranty, as well as maximum useful battery life.

EV battery replacement

If your EV battery ever needs replacing, your qualified service provider can do it. They may even offer you credit for your old battery, as there is value in repurposing batteries into other applications or recycling them to reclaim the raw materials inside.

EVs are cost effective even with battery replacement

Research based on the Nissan Leaf, New Zealand’s most popular EV, shows that, even if you need to replace the battery, an EV can still compete with the petrol car in terms of overall cost.

Read our report below on EV battery life.

Media release: EV batteries research released - EECA website