The Concept of a Million-Mile car could be come a new standard

Ever since the automotive world established itself as the world’s premier industry and tech hub, engineers and consumers have become obsessed with the concept of a “million-mile car.” It is simply the vehicle that can cover a million (or more) miles in its lifecycle, with nothing more than regular maintenance and servicing. As utopic as it might sound, we already have “million-mile” cars, and every once in a while, you hear the news about a car owner whose odometer just moved past the 999,999 mile mark after decades of use.

So, it is clear that the car industry is already capable of building long-lasting vehicles that can go to the Moon and back. The real question remains what happens once the EVs take over, and do you really want a “million-mile” car in your driveway?

The Possibility of the Million-Mile Electric Car

It took pretty long for the ICE-powered car industry to make vehicles that could endure the million-mile road trip. Even though they are not as rare, they aren’t an everyday occurrence simply because most people don’t drive that much and have no interest in entering the Guinness Book Of Records. However, once the transition to electric vehicles is complete, practically any EV can be a genuine million-mile car. This claim is true as electric motors are eliminating the most challenging part of any car – the engine. With the engine out of the picture and replaced by much simpler and more practical electric motors, the rest of the car (such as suspension and brakes) is pretty straightforward and dependable. As long as those parts are properly serviced and used as intended, there is no reason why they couldn’t last at least a million miles. At the moment, various taxi services with EVs have reported their cars covering 300,000 to 400,000 miles without significant problems, so future electric models that can cover a million miles are to be expected.

The Probability of a Million-Mile Car Battery

In the case of electric vehicles, the hardware is not the problem in achieving extreme mileage, but the current battery technology is. That is why the concept of a “million-mile car” should be observed through existing million-mile battery projects by leading EV companies like Tesla. The failing battery capacity is a burning problem of all-electric cars which use lithium-ion batteries. Simply, after a number of charging and discharging cycles, the battery capacity is lowered, which affects the range and the overall performance of the vehicle. At the moment, the only solu on is changing the whole battery pack, which is not only complicated but also very expensive.

At the moment, most EV batteries have warranties that last up to 10 years and 100,000 miles, guaranteeing that the battery will not lose more than 30% of its capacity in the said period. However, the reality of the situation shows that customers have reported failing batteries and that the companies are obligated to perform expensive replacements under warranty. The industry insiders claim that we are very close to a “million-mile battery,” which will realistically be able to keep its capacity even after several thousand cycles of charging and discharging. Tesla’s engineers estimated that a battery must be able to outlast at least 4,000 cycles to cover an estimated million miles. Of course, questions that follow and that we don’t have immediate answers to include “What kind of batteries will it be?” and “Will those batteries be recyclable?” as the lithium-ion ones are notoriously environmentally unfriendly.

“It is fantastic to know that your new electric vehicle can travel a million miles, but is this really relevant for your user experience?”

But, Do You Really Want A Million Mile Car?

As fulfilling as it is to know that your vehicle can outlast incredible mileage, the reality of this concept is that not many people really need or want such a car. If we look at the average mileage a single person covers in a year, which is just under 10,000 miles (global average), it would take about 100 years of driving to cover that distance. This suggests that a million-mile car is overkill in providing customers with a lifetime product. Yes, it is fantastic to know that your new electric vehicle can travel a million miles, but is this really relevant for your user experience? Probably not. Would you want to keep the same car for decades just to be sure that you have used all of its capacities? Definitely not.

On the other hand, the industry itself is based on constant development and the introduction of new models, designs, and packages. Building a million-mile car that will be dependable and usable for decades with minimal investment is kind of undermining that economic concept. Not to mention that highly durable vehicles put the whole other industry of spare parts, service technicians, and part vendors in serious jeopardy.


With the current progress of EVs, the million-mile car could become the standard rather than the exception. However, economically seen, this concept shouldn’t be a goal towards we need to be heading, as customers will appreciate other features more, such as shorter charging times, bigger charging capacity and a lower overall price for EVs.

Having Quadriga as a trustworthy partner offers you a vast variety of insights to better anticipate the volatility of the automotive market.

Geoffrey Heyninck,

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