EV Tech Explained: Battery Cycles In Electric Vehicles

  • May 9, 2022
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Here is what the charge and discharge cycles on EV batteries mean

Battery life cycles in EV explained

Electric vehicles have been taking the auto industry by storm, with growing market demand and multiple products entering the EV space at attractive prices. The most important thing about EVs, however, is the battery packs, because at the end of the day, the battery pack is going to determine the level of performance and range possible. But unlike tanking up a conventional petrol-powered two-wheeler, EV batteries have something called charge cycles. So then, what does a ‘charge cycle’ mean exactly?

One battery cycle basically translates to the discharging of a battery to a certain amount and then recharging it to its full capacity. In conventional terms, a full cycle would mean one complete discharge and one full recharge. The amount of discharge from the battery is called the depth of discharge.

In normal usage, a battery goes through multiple recharge and discharge cycles. A life cycle of a battery is the number of charge and discharge cycles it can complete while still maintaining most of its performance. Now with every charge cycle, the battery slowly loses its capacity of retaining a full charge, which would result in lesser performance over time (reduced range and faster discharge).

Most batteries have a certain life cycle, after which they would not be as efficient as they were when they were fresh. Different types of batteries have different depths of discharge and life cycles, which also depend on the weather, temperature conditions, usage and recharge habits.

For further knowledge, a Lithium-ion battery usually has an expected cycle rating of 3,000-5,000 full cycles (full discharge to full charge), which is currently the highest practical battery life cycle when compared to any other type of battery.

Lithium batteries aside, we have lead-acid batteries that come in multiple variations and different life expectancies. However, depending on how the battery is maintained, a lead-acid battery can give up to 1,000 cycles.

For a better understanding of different types of battery tech, you can check out our EV Battery tech explained story here.

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