Battery Electric Vehicles | What You Need To Know

25 June 2021 Blog

Stepping in to the world of electric vehicles can be confusing with lots of questions, especially with the large choice of hybrid options to choose from.

Continuing with our series detailing more about hybrid vehicles, we now look at battery electric vehicles, and answer your commonly asked questions about them.

What is a battery electric vehicle? 

A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a vehicle where there is no combustion engine. The car is instead powered by electric motors and an internal battery. A BEV will require charging using an electric charging point to charge the batteries.

How long do the batteries in electric vehicles last? 

Battery life can vary massively from vehicle to vehicle. In recent yearsmanufacturers have made steps to increase range across all BEV models. Recently Mercedes announced their new EQS model would have a range of 479 miles on one charge.

Which battery is used in electric vehicles? 

The most common batteries in electric vehicles are lithium ion or lithium polymer, both of which can store significant amounts of energy without being too heavy to be practical in a car.

How do I increase the battery life of an EV? 

Just like with a petrol or diesel engine, the biggest change you can make is by altering your driving habits. Slow and smooth changes, both accelerating and braking can help to increase the range of the car. 

You can also help extend the range by reducing your energy usage in the cabin, such as turning off heated seats, air conditioning or other electrical systems.

Do electric cars lose charge when parked? 

No. Unlike 12V car batteries that need regular activity to stop the battery from losing charge, the modern lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles lose charge very slowly when not in use.

It’s said they can last up to 6 months without any use and still maintain charge. Despite this, it is still recommended to leave your car on charge when not in use. 

Does rapid charging damage the battery of an EV? 

Whilst it's true that regular use of rapid charging can decrease the longevity of an electric car battery, the impact of this is minor.

Currently it is recommended to use rapid charging when on long journeys or in need of charge quickly, whilst sticking to regular charging as much as possible.

Can you overcharge an electric car? 

Most electric cars are designed to recognise when they have reached maximum charge and stop charging. This is because most drivers will leave their electric vehicle to charge overnight for use on their regular commute. 

Do electric cars need maintenance? 

As with any car an electric car will still need servicing.

Wipers, tyres and brake fluid are just a few of the essential items that need regular inspections regardless of whether your car is electric or uses a standard combustion engine.

Who owns the battery in an electric car? 

When electric vehicles were first introduced into the market it was commonplace to see a car purchase where the battery was leased. This meant you owned the car but paid a monthly lease fee for the battery. 

Now that electric vehicles are more commonplace this practice has all but died out, with almost all batteries included in the vehicle purchase.