How long can an EV vehicle last?

How long can an EV vehicle last?

Why do cars eventually go bad? Can an EV vehicle last 20 year assuming you might have to replace the battery pack one time? Will an EV's total lifetime cost be less the gasoline powered car? If you can double the length of a car by 100% you can significantly lowered the cost of the car. I think Elon talked about motors that would last a very long time.

Red Sage ca us | January 25, 2016

According to Jay Leno, who owns electric vehicles that are over 100 years old, they last practically forever.

Timo | January 25, 2016

If you don't count standard car parts like suspension, brakes, body etc, BEV lasts a lot longer than ICE cars.

deeageux | January 25, 2016

Well, were they put salt on the roads vehicles rust.

Model S is made of aluminum and is extremely rust resistant.

Electric motors will fail early in life(under warranty) or last 50 plus years.

A 20 year old S85 or S90 is likely to have more range than a brand new 2016 LEAF with 30 kWh battery back.

So when does a Model S "need" a new battery pack depends on your "needs."

In Los Angeles and the San Jose Bay Area there are shops that specialize in refurbishing Prius battery packs much more cheaply than a dealer replacement. In the coming years I expect there will be EV shops and independent Tesla shops(much like there are independent Mercedes or Volvo repair shops) that specialize in Tesla battery module and pack refurbishment.

Right now the idea of replacing the 17" touchscreen out of warranty for a very old Model S seems prohibitively expensive but in 15 years maybe Foxconn will sell generic replacements to independent shops very cheaply.

Being an early adopter or early follower entails accepting some unknown future variables.

jordanrichard | January 25, 2016

risingsun, depends on what metric you are using to define when a car is "done". I met someone who's eyes nearly popped out when they heard that 3 of my cars have over 150,000 miles on them. Actually 2 of them have over 200,000. This person is used to replacing cars every 2-3 years, so they have never seen a car go over the century mark, never mind 200,000.

rlwrw | January 25, 2016

Wear and tear on any moving component is what will affects the life of an EV.
Bearing failure and metal fatigue will be an issue at some point in time. If one is constantly doing launches during the lifetime of the vehicle, then one can expect an axle or differential component to fail at some point in time.
If one is more conservative with their vehicle then it might be a bearing that fails way down the line.
Heat and friction in ICE engines are what wears them out quickly. There is virtually no friction (metal to metal contact) in an electric motor.
If one drives around in the equivalent of a gravel pit all the time, then one can expect bearings to get ground up prematurely.
Bottom line is that conditions vary, but an EV should far outlast an ICE vehicle.

atljunkcars | January 25, 2016

I pay cash for junk cars in Atlanta and I buy all kinds of cars when they break down. I've bought VW diesels, Honda and Toyota hybrids but haven't bought an electric car yet. So I guess there lasting a pretty good amount of time or people are repairing them when they break down.

jordanrichard | January 25, 2016

atljunkcars, the oldest all electric cars on the road are Nissan Leafs and I believe those are only a few years old. Keep in mind I am not in CT versus CA, so perhaps pure electrics have been widely available there, much longer than the rest of the country.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 25, 2016

I regularly drive our 7 year old Tesla Roadster with 65,000 miles on it. Its battery is showing a little age. I'd guess it is down maybe 15% from when it was new. Its brakes have very little wear. Its acceleration still blows unsuspecting passengers away just like it did when brand new.
I know many people who are still driving their 2000 Toyota RAV4EVs. Most had to recondition their battery packs at around 120,000 miles but everything else still works great.

jordanrichard | January 26, 2016

It still comes down to what one considers the literally breaking point for a car, be it an ICE or EV. A blown engine in an ICE car, is clearly the end point, though one could just put in another engine. Is burning a quart of oil every 3K miles the end point or is it every 2K?

The answer to the OP's question is subjective, meaning there is no answer.

jonlivesay | January 26, 2016