An Unsung EV Benefit: Longevity and the Battery Warranty


An Unsung EV Benefit: Longevity and the Battery Warranty

Making the switch to an all-electric vehicle takes a bit of a leap of faith. Many of us had our first electric vehicle experience with cheap radio-controlled toys that ran on a couple of D batteries before quickly growing wobbly and unresponsive. 

Those of us who have made the leap of faith to modern electric vehicles (EVs) have learned that there are many benefits. Aside from costing less to fuel, being much easier to maintain, having zero emissions, and being super fun to drive, we have discovered that, unlike the batteries in our old radio-controlled toys, EV batteries are pretty amazing. But don’t take my word about the durability of EV batteries; nothing ensures peace of mind like a warranty. 

The typical factory bumper-to-bumper warranty for a new gas-powered car is 3 years or 36,000 miles while the powertrain warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles. EVs have similar bumper-to-bumper warranties, but an EV’s powertrain warranty includes the battery and electric motors and lasts a minimum of 8 years/100,000 miles. This doesn’t just kick in once the battery is totally depleted. In most cases, the battery retention guarantee is 70%, meaning that if your battery health drops below 70% in the first 8 years or 100,000 miles, it will be replaced under warranty. 

In addition to providing peace of mind, robust battery warranties improve EV resale value and inspire confidence for used EV buyers. Many battery warranties are transferable to subsequent vehicle owners, although we encourage you to confirm this for your particular vehicle prior to purchase. As more used EVs become available on the market, not only will they save their second (or third, or fourth) owners money on maintenance and repair costs, but they are also likely to outlast comparable gas vehicles. 

There is certainly more data on gas vehicle longevity than long-term EV longevity since most EVs on U.S. roads are less than 3 years old, but EV manufacturers expect EVs to last 15-20 years, which is longer than most gas vehicles. A 2023 study of 15,000 EVs by Recurrent Auto found that with the exception of a couple of manufacturer recalls, only about 1.5% of the EVs in their sample underwent battery replacements, most of which were covered under warranty. The study also found that most EVs driven around 100,000 miles still had 90% of their original range. The study concluded, “So far, it seems that EV batteries have much longer lifespans than anyone imagined, since very few of them have been replaced, even once the 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty period ends.”

For those of us who want an extremely low-maintenance, safe, reliable vehicle for many years to come, EVs fit the bill. Not only are EVs a great option for longevity, but they come with a warranty to prove it.

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