One of the biggest arguments of fans of combustion cars against electricians is the service life of batteries. Of course, it’s a fact that lithium-ion batteries lose their maximum capacity as they age and with normal use. Fortunately, these drops are not too large, so that electric cars should maintain a large range even after several years.
Volkswagen Id.3 lost some range after a year
Is it really so. Youtuber, the creator of the Battery Life channel, decided to undertake the experiment. He has been driving an electric Volkswagen Id.3 for a year and has driven it since the purchase by 22.5 thousand. km.
Based on the on-board computer, he calculated how many kilometers his car would travel on a single charge in September 2020 and 2021 while maintaining a constant speed of 90 km / h. Taking into account the projected range and the average energy consumption during the test section, he calculated the real battery capacity in kilowatt hours. In September 2020 it amounted to 58.8 kWh, after a year it decreased by approx. 7.5%. up to 54.4 kWh. The declared capacity read from the system was even smaller and amounted to 54.1 kWh (a decrease of 9%).
The results were widely commented on on the Internet. Many people accused YouTuber that his test based on the on-board computer readings is unreliable and does not prove anything. He himself pointed out that he led it rather out of curiosity, because he himself did not notice any greater difference in range during a typical ride.
However, he decided to go to an authorized Volkswagen service center, where he asked for a professional examination. The test performed at the ASO showed a decrease in battery capacity by 8%. He described the whole thing (in English) in the video above.
So it turns out that his calculations were quite accurate. Two months passed from September to the visit at the Dealership, and the owner of the electrician covered another 2.5 thousand with him. km, although it is difficult to say whether they contributed to the reduction in capacity by half a percentage point.
Volkswagen Id.3 lost in range. What’s weird about that?
Before the opponents of electricians say that this is proof enough that electric cars have no future, a few words of explanation should be given. 8 percent loss it is quite large from the real capacity, but it does not differ from the standards. Accumulators in cars, smartphones, laptops or any other equipment have it that they slowly reduce their useful capacity.
It is normal for electric cars to decline in the usable capacity of the batteries. Especially during the first year of purchase. Typically, the electrics lose a few percent of their initial capacity during this time, after which the process slows down and remains at a similar level. A similar test must be carried out, e.g. after another year, two and five years of using the car, to determine whether the decrease in capacity was actually worrying.
Second, the owner of Id.3 himself admits that in the last year he has not used the car to the end in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Volkswagen recommends charging the car to 80 percent. battery capacity and do not discharge below 10 percent. Driving on electric “fumes” definitely harms electricians (driving on a reserve for combustion cars also has a lot of disadvantages) and every owner of an electric car should know about it.
Meanwhile, the creator of the Battery Life channel most often charged his electrician to the full and often started the process of replenishing energy only when the batteries were almost completely discharged. In addition, he also used very fast chargers (especially in the first months after the purchase), which also have an impact on the battery life. It is therefore difficult to conclude that this VW Id.3 was used in an optimal way.
To sum up, using the car contrary to the recommendations may actually shorten the life of the battery, but in this case it is also very important that the batteries in electrics lose the most useful capacity during the first year after purchase. It is also difficult to say whether the mentioned 8 percent. losses in the first year are a lot or not.