Which battery size is right for an electric car?

A guide to decision-making

When purchasing an electric car, different criteria play a decisive role when compared to conventional combustion vehicles. One particularly important factor that must be carefully considered is undoubtedly the state of health (SoH) of the battery. But that's not all - there are other essential aspects that those who decide to embark on this exciting adventure must face. Another question that potential buyers may have is the battery size. And here's where DI Nikolaus Mayerhofer, CTO at AVILOO, has some excellent recommendations for them!

Nikolaus Mayerhofer

Car buyers are always asking themselves these questions: What battery size is ideal for me? Is it worth investing in a larger, more expensive battery? Is an additional charge of around 10,000 euros for a larger battery worth it? There is no one answer for these questions. Rather, it is an individual decision based on the personal needs of the car buyer. In this article, we offer a guide to make the decision-making process of choosing between standard and larger battery sizes easier.

Before we dive into battery sizes, however, we would first like to take a quick look at a general topic - four-wheel drive. Some may wonder what this has to do with battery size.

Four-wheel drive yes / no

The decision for or against a four-wheel drive is not always independent of battery size. In short - if you need a four-wheel drive, it makes sense. However, if you don't need it, but are absolutely dependent on it because of a larger battery, this has a small disadvantage, as four-wheel drives result in higher consumption. This additional consumption though is more than compensated by the larger battery, making driving even more fun. Nevertheless, the efficiency of a pure rear- or front-wheel drive is generally higher, and they are more environmentally-friendly. Thus, if you value minimal consumption, a smaller battery and not having a four-wheel drive could be a better choice for you.

Decision-making basis

The right choice between standard and larger batteries depends on the user profile. To make this decision-making process easier, we will now look deeper into battery sizes and describe their advantages and disadvantages.

When is a larger battery the right choice?

  • If you are willing to invest more money.
  • Faster charging compared to a standard battery - this saves about 5 minutes for an additional range of 100 km (assuming charging starts with an SoC of around 10%)
  • More flexibility for long distances and route planning - fewer charging stops overall and more freedom when planning breaks. With a larger battery, you can plan breaks more according to your needs and less according to the battery status. This means that you can reach your destination in a more relaxed state of mind.
  • For regular trips without intermediate charging - ideal for round trips. For example, if you have no charging facility at your destination, it may be necessary to have a larger battery to be able to start your journey home.
  • For a large PV system - provides for more flexible storage of surplus energy in the car. With a larger battery, you can store the PV surplus on sunny days without having to sell it at a very low price and then buying it again later for much more money.
  • Longer battery life in terms of kilometers - especially for those who drive frequently and who want to keep the car for a long time. A larger battery means fewer cycles for the same mileage than a smaller battery. This means that a larger battery ages more slowly than a smaller battery, assuming the same mileage.
  • In adverse conditions or with additional loads such as roof structures or trailers. Roof structures or trailers increase consumption massively. The significant reduction in range can be partially compensated by choosing a larger battery.

When is the standard battery size the right choice?

  • If you want to invest less.
  • If you don't mind a slightly longer charging process.
  • For shorter journeys that can get you through the day without recharging.
  • For environmentally-conscious drivers who aim for low consumption.
  • If you can usually get by with one battery charge.
  • If you have charging options at your destination.
  • If you are fine with having around 20% more charging stops on long journeys.
  • If the range is sufficient for a return trip, even without charging options at the destination.
  • If you can get through everyday life with a range that is around 15% lower after five years. (Please keep in mind that the already low range decreases over the years due to aging)

Extreme weather conditions reduce the range by approximately 10% (icy cold and wet rain).

The choice between standard and larger battery sizes depends heavily on individual needs and usage habits. Regardless of the option you choose, we wish everyone a nice and safe journey!

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