Rechargeable batteries in modern electric cars may last much longer than was calculated or determined in older studies, Munich researchers recently wrote: The technical progress of recent years speaks for this, and the manufacturers would certainly know more up-to-date data, but not publish them. So the team at the Technical University of Munich bought batteries from a VW ID.3 and tested them themselves – and found that the capacity was still almost 90 percent even under extreme stress after 160,000 kilometers. Shortly thereafter, Tesla reported similarly high values even after 320,000 kilometers for the Model S and Model X. And during the week Renault also provided reassuring-sounding data on the battery of its popular Zoe electric car.
Tesla saves CO2 after 10,500 km
Such results have an impact on the battery life or mileage customers can count on. However, they also play a major role in determining the calculated CO2 emissions per kilometer over the entire period of use. Because the majority of it is produced in electric cars during the manufacture of the battery, and the longer it lasts, the lower the total emissions per kilometer. This in turn plays an important role in deciding on the right funding policy for CO2 reduction in transport.
In its current Impact Report, Tesla, for example, calculates that electric cars will be scrapped after 320,000 kilometers in the USA and after 240,000 kilometers in Europe. The reason for this, as shown by the Model S and Model X data in the same report, is not that the batteries would then be unusable. But even if one does not take into account a possible longer use in the electric cars themselves or in stationary operation, an imaginary mixture of Model 3 and Model Y in the USA should cause fewer CO2 emissions after just 10,500 kilometers than a comparable combustion engine.
At Volkswagen, similarly long usage times and thus clearer electric car advantages should result if the results of the Munich researchers with the ID.3 are confirmed and included in such evaluations. And with Renault, another manufacturer has now been added whose experience suggests that the CO2 picture for electric cars looks even more positive overall than according to previous data.
Renault with battery data for electric car Zoe
99 percent of all batteries ever sold for the Renault Zoe in Germany are still fully operational and have at least 70 percent of their original capacity, the company said on Tuesday. This applies to the first generation with a capacity of 22 kilowatt hours as well as to the current one with 52 kilowatt hours. So the data goes back a long way, as the first examples of Europe’s best-selling electric car in 2020 (see photo above) were already delivered in 2013. According to Renault, the minimum failure rate also includes vehicles that are already outside the battery guarantee of eight years or a maximum of 160,000 kilometers. Here, too, neither customers nor climate protectors have to reckon with the fact that the electric car battery will quickly become flat afterwards.
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