Electric vehicles are more and more popular. New and more experienced electric car owners alike face the same question: How do I best protect the battery?
The battery in an electric car (EV) is one of the most expensive components and can easily cost $10,000 (60,000 Danish Kroner). That price tag makes it a good idea for electric car owners to take as good care of the battery as possible and improve its service life.
EV owners need to use a broad approach because many different things affect battery life.
Here are several tips on how you can ensure that your EV battery has the longest possible lifespan.
Keep it Temperate
EV Lithium batteries are surprisingly similar to humans where temperatures are concerned. We both do best when it is neither too hot nor cold. The batteries have a slightly higher tolerance than most of us (maybe other than winter bathers), but they still need care.
Most of us have, at some point in our lives, had the ‘pleasure’ of having to get into a car that has been baking in the sun for hours.
On days like that, black leather seats are not exactly a pleasure…
Electric car batteries can suffer in the same way from the sun’s heat, so park in the shade when possible during the summer. In the winter, you can park indoors where possible and save your car battery exposure to harsh minus degrees.
Many electric cars come with thermal control systems that can regulate the temperature of the cabin and battery. Here, however, you risk running into other challenges, such as battery discharge. Some electric cars automatically run their thermal control system, even when disconnected, until the charge capacity drops to 15 per cent. That does not leave much for actual driving.
Avoid Charge Extremes
If you need to use thermal control systems, a possible strategy is to charge the car battery to its max capacity to have more power to spare. However, that is often a bad idea. Fully charging the battery to 100% can wear on it over time and shorten the battery’s lifespan.
Whether you charge at home, at the office, or on the go, staying closer to a maximum of 80% – 85% charge is advisable. For the vast majority of use cases, this top-level charge provides more than ample capacity to reach wherever you want to go – and home again.
Similar issues apply to fully discharging the battery (down to 0% or close to zero). If you use your electric car infrequently or will be away for an extended period, there is a risk that the battery discharge on its own.
In such cases – and many others – it is advisable to use a charge management system that enables you to set fixed limits on when and how much your battery should be charged. In addition, the system should be able to start charging automatically. For example, start charging if the battery drops below 25% and automatically stop when it reaches 85%.
Fast Charging, No Thanks
Fast charging is great when you need to hurry. But it is not the best solution for your battery. You can imagine that charging a battery is similar to filling a water tank. Normal charging is like turning on the tap. Fast charging is a bit like filling the tank with a pressure washer.
By charging more power into the batteries in a shorter period, your battery’s performance will suffer over time(including lower charging and discharge capacity). The deterioration is not immediately noticeable, but it can cost 10% more battery life than regular charging.
Our advice is to charge your car overnight at home whenever possible. As an added benefit, you are likely to get a lower electricity bill.
Using high-speed chargers can be limited to longer journeys or situations where you do not have access to other types of chargers.
Drive With Battery Care
It can be hard to resist the wild accelerations that Tesla is and other electric cars offer. It is relatively harmless to the battery if enjoyed occasionally. A good time is, for example, when you demonstrate your car’s abilities to a potential future electric car owner. The wide eyes it tends to lead to are priceless 🙂
You should, however, be aware that too many rapid accelerations or generally aggressive driving can wear on your battery.
Smooth accelerations, conservative driving and good maintenance of the car (for example, regularly checking your tire pressure) can, on the other hand, help extend the battery’s service life.
Automate Your Charging
No matter which solution you choose, it is advisable to use an automatic charging solution. We recommend using a solution that includes charging intelligently and automatically when it is cheapest and most climate-friendly.
If you also have a solution that can charge from and to predefined levels, you have a strong foundation for getting the most out of your battery – and EV.
The qualities above are, among other things, what True Smart Charge from True Energy offers.
See more here
You can find more inspiration and advice in the YouTube videos below. Even though they focus on Tesla and Hyundai, respectively, most of the advice applies to all EVs.