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Mother and daughter in backseat of Tesla

Electric vehicles

An electric vehicle, or EV, runs solely on the electricity supplied by the on-board battery, resulting in zero tailpipe emissions.

EVs have become very popular in recent years, thanks to the success of Tesla’s vehicles. Along with zero emissions, EVs also have a quiet ride thanks to the lack of engine noise, and offer the convenience of charging at home.

Understanding how EV batteries age

Battery longevity over time

Have you ever worried about how long an EV battery will last?

All EV batteries will experience some degradation over time—and that’s normal. This means that as your battery degrades, it won’t hold as much charge as it once did, and you’ll notice reduced range (you can’t go as far on a single charge.) 

Outside of this normal degradation, battery life depends on many things including the make and model of the car, how the car is used, the condition and maintenance of the vehicle, plus things like temperature, where the vehicle is located, and number of passengers typically in the car.

To give you an idea of what typical battery degradation may look like, we’ve partnered with Recurrent to share EV range performance over time. Here’s a look at several popular EVs and how their range today compares to their range when new.

EPA-estimated range when new

Recurrent-estimated range today

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier

259 miles

201 - 285 miles

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

270 miles

225 - 297 miles

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited

256 miles

231 - 303 miles

2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus

215 miles

193 - 242 miles

2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance

315 miles

277 - 304 miles

† The stated battery range data is from Recurrent , who develops vehicle battery range estimates based upon observed range data from thousands of EV owners. Actual battery range will vary depending on a number of factors, including the use, age, condition, trim level, wheel/tire size, and maintenance of the vehicle.

Recurrent estimates are provided by Recurrent and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. Estimates based on Recurrent data as of July 3, 2023. Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings.  Learn more about Recurrent and their ratings

If you're looking for a deeper comparison of compare hybrid, electric, and gas, explore fuel types & powertrains to learn more about the engine choices for your next vehicle.

FAQs about electric vehicles

With the proper cable (typically included with the car), you can plug into a common 120V power outlet and gain 3-5 miles of range per hour charged.  If you drive 20-30 miles per day, you can plug your BEV in each night and regain the range used during the day.

If you want a faster charge you can explore upgrading to a 240V system, which typically provides 10-20 miles of range per hour charged. For any modifications to your home’s power system, consult an electrician to add 240V outlets, installed charging boxes, and ensure your home can support the proper amperage.

Understanding battery charging

Making the switch to an electric car, truck, or SUV can seem intimidating with the avalanche of new lingo. But once you learn how it all works, an EV might actually simplify your life. Edmunds experts runs through what you need to know about electric car chargers and charging your car.

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Research battery electric vehicles

Research vehicle specs, features, and EPA-estimated battery range across trim level, body style, and motor configuration

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We hope you found this information helpful. This content is intended to inform and is not meant to provide legal, financial or investment advice. We make every effort to provide accurate information, but please verify before transacting and consider talking to a qualified professional about your unique circumstances.​

Editorial content contained on this page comes from Edmunds.com, Inc., a subsidiary of CarMax Enterprise Service, LLC, and information related to featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.