The use of pure or all-electric vehicles continues to rise and new models are coming to Australia this year. Per the latest car sales report, more and more environmentally-conscious car buyers choose electric cars over the traditional combustion-engine models.
When it comes to EVs, however, demand from buyers isn't the only factor contributing to the upturn in sales. Increase in public charging stations has no doubt encouraged more people to give the EV try. So, when trying to explain its increased popularity in Australia, its easy to wonder, 'Which came first'? The supply of electric vehicles or the infrastructure to charge them? That's a question for another article.
In this article, though, we're going to look at the Top 10 electric vehicles in Australia with the best batteries.
What Difference Do the Batteries Make?
Firstly, let's talk about what difference does a good EV battery make in an electric car. The most obvious benefit is the range or travel distance of the car. The more efficiently a battery can store energy, the longer that electric vehicle can go between charges. You'll be able to drive farther and longer without having to find a place to plug your car in to charge.
Aside from this, there are two other factors that people tend to overlook when choosing their EVs. Firstly, the warranty. Manufacturers offer warranties on the batteries based on mileage or the number of years you've owned it. Having one with a more extended warranty is definitely better. It'll give you peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, you won't have to suddenly spend cash fixing or replacing your EV's battery.
Then, there's also the concern over battery degradation. On average, electric car batteries tend to lose (or 'degrade') by about 2% or so per year. 'Degradation' simply means that over time, those batteries will lose a bit of their capacity to store energy. That means fewer kilometres and a need to charge just a bit more often than before.
Top 10 EVs with the Best Batteries
Now that we understand what a 'good' EV battery is, let's look at 10 EVs with the best batteries on the market (in no particular order).
Audi e-Tron 2020
The Audi e-Tron is set to come out by the end of 2020. It carries a 95-kWh lithium-ion battery and a range of up to 485 km. Using a three-phase 11-kW wall box at home, it'll take 8 and a half hours to charge it up entirely. On a fast charger, though, you'll get up to 80% in 30 minutes. The battery Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron 2017 has a degradation rate of just 0.3% per year.
Tesla Model 3 2019
No list of EVs would be complete without mentioning Tesla. Firstly, we'll look at the Tesla Model 3, Tesla's sedan. This one has a 75-kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged up in just 5 hours using a wall connector. Thirty minutes on a fast charger can get it up to 80%, though. This car can go as far as 480 km on a single charge. The battery is said to only degrade at a rate of 0.6% a year.
Tesla Model X 2019
The family-friendly SUV by Tesla is the Model X. This one can go as far as 542 km with its 100-kWh battery. Charging this battery will take about 6-9 hours at home with a wall connector. Forty minutes on a fast charger will bring the battery up to 80% (ten minutes more than the Tesla Model 3). According to some sources, the battery in this car only degrades at a rate of 0.7% annually.
Nissan Leaf 2019
Nissan has been in the electric car business for quite some time. The second generation of the Leaf carries a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can charge up in 8 hours. With a fast charger, it can reach 80% in 40 minutes. In terms of the warranty, the battery pack is covered for eight years or 160,000 km in mileage. Per year, the battery only degrades at a rate of 0.8%.
BMW i3 2019
This more luxurious BMW i3 hatchback has a 42.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. That battery can take you about 260 km before needing another charge. Charging this one at home with a 1.8-kW outlet will take 19 and a half hours to bring the battery up to 80%. This battery's degradation stands at 0.3% per year.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Hyundai's all-electric, compact, 5-door Ioniq has a 38.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a range of 311 km. Charging that battery up to 80% will take about 60 minutes. A warranty covers this battery for 8 years or 160,000 km in mileage.
Kia's e-Niro should land in Australia by the end of 2020. It's got a 60-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that can be charged up in 8 hours using a 240V charger. On a fast charger, though, the battery can be charged to 80% in just 45 minutes. The range on this car is quite impressive at 485 km on a single charge.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class EQC
Here's another luxury option for the list, this time by Mercedes-Benz with its B-Class EQC. This compact luxury SUV has an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This battery pack comes with a warranty for 8 years or 160,000 km. Its range? An impressive 434 km on a single charge. With a 50 kW charger, the battery can be charged up to 80% in about 40 minutes.
Renault has its supermini Zoe (pronounced Zoé), a 5-door hatchback. The 41 kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the Zoe gives it a range of up to 300 km. With a 240V charger, that battery can be recharged in 7.5 hours. But with a quick charger, it can be brought up to 80% in just 60 minutes. The warranty is slightly better with the Renault Zoe. The battery is covered for eight years just like the others, though the mileage covered is higher at 200,000 km.
Last but not least, let's look at another luxury option: the Jaguar i-Pace. This crossover SUV by Jaguar 90-kWh lithium-ion battery that's covered for six years and 160,000 km. It's no surprise that this car has an impressive range of up to 469 km! The battery takes 10 hours to charge with a 240V charger, though a fast charger could bring it up to 80% in just 40 minutes.
Final Notes: Fast Chargers
Before closing, I think it's worth mentioning something about fast charging. Fast charging cuts down on the charging time significantly, but it's not without its tradeoffs. Fast chargers can lead to higher temperatures and resistance if used too frequently and may cause leaks and cracks, not to mention the loss of power storage capacity in the battery.
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By Ray Hasbollah