How long will it take for my EV battery to degrade and need replacing?

In 2019, 37,850 electric cars were registered on UK roads compared to just 15,510 in 2018. That’s an increase of 144% year on year. 

Despite the growth of electric cars, a question continues to plague would-be electric drivers: How long will it take for my EV battery to degrade and need replacing? In their latest research, Select Car Leasing have identified the best and worst models for battery degradation.

Some of the lithium-ion batteries in the first commercially available EVs suffered greatly from battery degradation and the Nissan Leaf was no different. As the data below shows, the 2013–2015 models of the Leaf are currently down to around 80% of their full battery capacity.

The 2015 model lost 6% of its battery capacity in the first year alone, while the 2014 model is a shocking 23% down in year 5. This is all the more worrying considering that the Leaf only comes with an eight-year, or 100,000-mile warranty. These figures look much more favourable for the 2017 model, which is down 5% in year 3 and the 2019 model which saw just a 1% reduction in performance over the first year.

To find out if the trend of huge improvements in battery capacity retention rates evident in the Nissan Leaf, is the same across the board, Select Car Leasing analysed the year 1 capacity percentages of some of the world’s favourite EV cars. 

Comparing the findings below to the 6% loss of capacity within the first year for the Nissan Leaf 2016 model, you can see that even the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which lost the most battery capacity on our list, was less than 4% down in the first year. That’s around 2% less that the Nissan Leaf over the same period.

Naturally, Tesla’s range features prominently in our top 10 with the Model 3, X and S losing a meagre 1% capacity over the first year. However, it’s bad news for Volkswagen as their flagship e-Golf and Golf GTE models slump to the bottom 10. This is surprising considering the car brand’s reputation for high quality and efficiency, but could be reversed in the coming years as VW prepare the ‘iD’ electric range for worldwide release.

Again, you can find Select Car Leasing’s full research here: