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Ford Says Li-On Batteries to Outshine Very Reliable Nickel-Metal


The lithium-ion reliability performance is based on lab data, but it’s likely to prove true in the real world. (Ford graphic)

Probably the biggest worry people have about electric cars is projected battery life—it’s a top purchase consideration. The fear is this: A few years down the road, their pack will fail and the dealer will be holding out his hand for $20,000. First of all, this isn’t likely to happen because most EV batteries are warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles (it’s 10 years and 150,000 miles in California emission states).
Low Failure Rates

And it’s also not likely to happen because batteries in hybrids and electrics have proven incredibly durable. A Consumer Reports test of 2001 and 2002 Toyota Priuses with 200,000 miles found spot-on performance, including from their battery packs. Obviously, we don’t have much long-term data on lithium-ion batteries yet, but Ford says it’s figured out how to simulate that—with a rigorous protocol called the Key Life Test that mimics 15 years of wear in just 10 months.
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