California says EV batteries need to last longer

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The most vital component of any electric car is the battery, and the health of the battery can significantly affect the range and value of the car. The US state of California is now setting rules for batteries used in electric vehicles.

The California Air Resources Board adopted new rules this week that will block the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035, with a gradual increase beginning in 2026. The ruling also includes new requirements for batteries used in electric cars. . , to ensure that “they can be complete replacements for gasoline vehicles, maintain their market value to owners, and that used car buyers get a quality vehicle that won’t pollute.”

Starting with electric cars with a model year of 2026 or later (which should start appearing in 2025), the car must maintain at least 70% of its original range for 10 years or 150,000 miles. That will increase to 80% of the original range for 2030 model cars. The Air Resources Board is also setting requirements for individual battery packs: By the 2026 model year, battery packs must retain 70% of their power for eight years or 100,000 miles, which increases to 75% for the 2031 model year. Finally, powertrain components must be under warranty for at least three years or 50,000 miles.

The rules aim to address one of the most common problems with electric cars: batteries wearing out too quickly. Gasoline and hybrid cars generally retain their range throughout their lifespan, but batteries in electric cars slowly lose their full capacity, just like batteries in other electronic devices. As the battery depletes, the maximum range drops and the value of the car decreases.

There are not many countries or states that have enacted battery life regulations for electric cars. The United Nations and the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations proposed a rule in 2021 that would require batteries to maintain 80% capacity for 5 years or the first 100,000 km (about 62,000 miles), but it has not been widely adopted. The United States does not have any federal legislation on the status of electric vehicle batteries, but the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will require that a certain percentage of the minerals used in batteries originate in North America for the automobile, in order to receive a federal tax refund. .

Source: California Air Resources Board