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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Battery Capacity Loss: The Public Needs To Know What To Expect

The battery pack of the i3 is comprised of eight modules like you see here. Each module contains twelve cells. They are the same chemistry and come form the same supplier (Robert Bosch Battery Systems, formerly SB-LiMotive) as the batteries used in the BMW ActiveE
Anyone who has a cell phone knows that after you've had it for awhile the battery doesn't last as long as it did when it was new. The same goes for electric vehicles. The problem is in most cases it's easier and faster to recharge your cell phone then it is to charge your EV during the day if you need to use it more. Until public charging infrastructure becomes ubiquitous and battery technology improves where we can have affordable EV's that cover hundreds of miles on a single charge, people are going to need to squeeze out as many miles as they can from their EV. Losing 20%-30% of the car's range in four or five years may make the difference in being able to use the car for your daily commute or not.

So what should you expect from your battery after a couple years? I don't think most people know and that uncertainty will keep many from taking the plunge and purchasing their first battery electric car. The answer is information. Manufacturers and dealers need to step up their game and provide this information. The customer has to feel comfortable about the purchase or they won't make it. Worse yet if they buy an EV and then it doesn't live up to their expectations because they weren't informed about battery capacity loss.

I wrote an article for on this topic recently. Rather than write a new post here on the same topic, I'd like to direct anyone interested to my post. Just click on the links below. I am also working on a more comprehensive battery capacity loss post that I'll put up here soon. Electric Car Dealers Must Address Concerns About Batteries


  1. Very interesting Tom. I admit I hadn't thought of this but it sounds very important

  2. I hope BMW is reading this. They would be wise to listen to you Tom