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Mythbusting EVs

Mythbusting the world of EVs: do electric cars die young?

We look into the myth that EVs don't last as long as ICE cars...

Published: 16 Apr 2024


Even in 2024 you will occasionally hear someone say “I don’t want an electric car yet. I’ll wait until I can be sure they’re robust". I’d like to reassure you, nervous late adopter, they’ve been robust since, well, ever.

The DVLA has freely downloadable databases of the numbers of all car models, when they were registered and how many were still taxed or SORNed every quarter year. It’s very unwieldy though, so we can all be grateful to This is an amazing project by Olly Smith, which tidies up the data and makes it more accessible, not least by letting you crunch all cars of a specific model together rather than having to total up each trim and limited edition.

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Right, let’s dive into the old EVs. Some 3,104 Nissan Leafs were registered from 2011 to 2013, so they’re 11–13 years old. And 2,152 of these are still taxed, with another 122 on SORN. That’s a survival rate of very nearly three-quarters (73 per cent). For comparison, of the Ford Focuses from the same age band, 89 per cent remain.

Even more amazingly, 84 per cent of the Peugeot iOns and Citroen C-Zeros from that era survive. I didn’t include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV because some might have come from Japan to colour the data.

The Renault Zoe didn’t get going until 2013, but 88 per cent of the ones from 2013–14 are still out there.

So even primitive early EVs – with small batteries that need frequent cycling – are pretty tough. I’d certainly not fret about the more recent ones.

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