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Electric van batteries explained

Here’s a guide to how electric van batteries work, how to look after them, how long they last and more.

Electric van batteries explained
Electric vehicle batteries have come a long way over the last few years, with the technology constantly evolving it can be hard to keep up with all the advancements.
Here we will explain all the latest tech in EV batteries to help you understand.
How do electric vehicle batteries work?
Let’s start with the basics, battery electric vehicles run purely off electricity, that electricity is stored in a battery pack in your van for you to use when you are driving it around.
The electricity stored in the van’s battery pack is used to power the electric motor, which turns your van’s wheels when you drive.
How do you charge electric van batteries?
When your electric van’s battery is low, you’ll have to charge it.
You can charge your van in various places including:
  • On the public network
  • At work
  • At a service station
  • At home via a charging point
We have a whole article dedicated to how to charge your electric van which you can find here.
How long do electric batteries last?
The length of time an electric van (or other vehicles) battery lasts between charges is called its range.
The range of an electric van varies by make and model. On Auto Trader Van adverts you can find information on:
  • Battery range - the max miles on a full charge
  • Full charge - the duration of full charge
  • Quick charge - the time for a quick charge when you are on the go
We’ve got an article with more detail on electric van ranges here.
Types of electric vans battery
Most, if not all electric vans now use Lithium-ion batteries. They’re the current ‘standard’ and offer a longer range and retain energy better than other battery types.
What are solid-state batteries?
Solid-state batteries are a new type of technology, it has been claimed these batteries can offer shorter charging times and greater ranges than traditional lithium-ion batteries.
Electric car battery life and maintenance
How long your battery lasts will depend on several factors.
It has been recommended to keep your van’s battery charged between 50% and 80% as much as possible, this will help extend the lifespan of most EV batteries. Other tips to prolong your battery’s lifespan include:
  • Keep your battery at an even temperature – extreme hot or cold can negatively affect the battery’s range and lifespan
  • Charge your van on slow where possible, fast chargers are fine to use when needed, but slow chargers are better for your battery long term
  • Try not to charge your van straight away after a long drive, this will give the batteries chance to cool down first.
Electric van battery warranty
The length and terms of the warranty will depend on the van manufacturer, so make sure that’s on your list of questions to ask when you’re buying an electric van.
Replacing an electric van battery
Tests have found a lot of electric vehicle batteries last around 10 years, with some even lasting up to 20.
Some batteries have been found to lose capacity over time. This is normal, and usually down to extended use. If you have a fault with the battery, have a look over your warranty to see if the manufacturer can help you fix it.
Used electric van batteries
If you’re thinking of buying a used electric van, the battery should come provided so ask questions about the state of it (and its lifespan). The owner should be able to provide you with details on this.
If you are buying an older electric van, factor in the cost of replacing the battery or leasing a battery (on top of the price of the van) just in case you need to replace it soon. Most electric batteries do come with a warranty, so check this for peace of mind.
What do electric van batteries cost to run?
Overall, battery-electric vans are cheaper to fuel than petrol or diesel alternatives. They have fewer parts, so are also often cheaper to service too.
How much it will cost will depend on where you are charging it and what you are charging it with. You can read all about this in our article here.
Are electric van batteries eco-friendly?
Battery electric vehicles don’t produce any tailpipe emissions like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, so they’re cleaner than petrol or diesel alternatives. Electric vehicles do still have a carbon footprint, although almost everything does.
Generating electricity (which is needed to power EVs) can produce pollution and may also produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The amount of pollution this creates will depend on how the electricity is made. If you are looking for a cleaner way to charge your battery, try and look into energy companies that use renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. When your battery has reached the end of its life, consider recycling or reusing it. Even if they can no longer run your electric car, they might be able to start a new life doing another job.

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