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The electric cars with the best – and worst – battery life if you’re looking to buy in 2022

The Leaf is one of the biggest selling EVs, and was the first mass produced, mainstream passenger electric vehicle. This era of Leaf had a 24kWh battery that managed 124 miles under NEDC tests but managed more like 70-100 miles in real world use when new. Peculiarly, given that the Renault Kangoo ZE has the same battery, the Leaf fares poorly in Geotab data – in fact most first generation Nissan Leaf variants returned worse than average battery degradation. The fact that the Nissan doesn’t have water-cooled batteries, as most rival EVs do, could be a contributing factor – especially as much of Geotab’s data comes from vehicles run in hot climates. As with the BMW i3, it’s worth mentioning that the second generation Leaf, which has different battery chemistry, proves better and retained 94.7% of its battery SOH after nearly three years. 

Conclusion of the best EV to buy in 2022

Overall, battery degradation remains a concern for many drivers who are considering an EV, especially if they’re buying on the used market, but the data does show that you’re likely to lose relatively little of the maximum driving range even over many years. 

Having said that, it is unfortunate that Geotab’s data doesn’t include popular used EVs such as the Hyundai Ioniq and Renault Zoe, never mind newer ones such as the VW ID.3 and Peugeot e-208. That should all come as the company continues to monitor battery performance on its vehicles, so the battery data’s accuracy and relevance should only grow with time. 

Even as it is, the data shows the disparate performance that you can experience with different EVs, and also gives us the clearest idea yet of how much loss of range you can expect on average over the life of an EV or PHEV. Thankfully, that degradation is little enough that most EV users will have little or no compromise to the car’s usability over the years, although you should always factor in range loss when considering any EV or PHEV – new or used.

This article is kept updated with the latest information.

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