Taking Care of your Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery

In the post entitled, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging: Slow, fast or rapid?  I mentioned that for protection and preservation purposes, charging will automatically slow down once your EV battery has reached 80% capacity.  Although EV batteries last for around 10 years, like all things, they do age, but there are steps you can take to maximise their lifespan.  In this post then, we will briefly look at the battery itself and follow up with some hints, tips and suggestions on how to take care of your EV battery.

The EV Battery

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Most EVs use lithium-ion batteries, similar to the ones in a computer or smartphone (only much bigger!).  This means that they do have a shelf-life as they lose capacity over time.  In most cases though, unless the battery has not been properly looked after, then it should last for several years Most EV manufacturers now provide a standard 8-year or 100,000 miles warranty.  They may also cover certain types of reasonable degradation of the battery even if you are not the first owner.  So, you can be confident of this fact when deciding on a new or used EV.

Don’t Bin the Battery

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 A degraded battery does not necessarily mean that it must be binned.  It could simply be that a few faulty cells need replacing.  There are now EV specialist centres where this kind of work can be carried out for a fraction of the price of a new battery.  So, bear this in mind if you ever do have a problem with your EV battery.  It might be worth getting it checked (and it could save you a fair sum!)  As well as this, if you are thinking of buying, or already own an environmentally friendly vehicle, why not go one step further for the environment and recycle rather than bin the battery if it is possible? (Just a thought!)

Do Not Overcharge

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Perhaps the most important tip when it comes to taking care of your EV battery is not to overcharge it.  Constantly keeping your battery fully charged can be damaging.  Remember, it is a bigger version of the battery in your computer.  If your computer is constantly plugged in, the battery will lose capacity at a faster rate.  It is the same for your EV battery, so it is better to let the capacity drain to slightly above 20% before recharging up to about 80%.

Ideal Charge 20% – 80%

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It is recommended that you only fully charge your vehicle when it is necessary.  As I said earlier, you will damage the battery if you fully charge it every time.  You may be going on a long journey and 100% charge for these kinds of trips is fine.  For normal travel, however, it is best to stick to the 20-80% charging recommendation. 

Manufacturers are aware that a regular 100% charge has the most damaging effect on the life of the EV battery.  As a result, most EV batteries now have a built-in buffer and cannot be drained to 0%.  Nor can they be charged to a full 100%.

Smart Home EV Charger

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One of the best ways to preserve your battery is with a smart home EV charger.  With this you never need to rapid charge regularly and it will also ensure that you charge at the recommended 20 – 80%.  A smart home charger would also allow you to set your EV to charge overnight, which is not only the coolest time but also the cheapest time to charge it.  

When to Avoid Charging your EV

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EV batteries have a built-in thermal management system that helps cool them, but prolonged hot, direct sunlight can still cause damage.  For this reason, avoid parking or charging your vehicle in such conditions if you can.  Keeping the battery as cool as possible will help keep up its’ performance and lifespan.  The EV battery can also suffer damage in extreme cold, but if you do not have access to a garage or car port, then a car cover can help it from these conditions.

Another time to avoid charging your EV battery is immediately after use when it is still hot.   Let it cool down first if you can.  Even on a long trip when a rapid charge may be needed, they are usually found at motorway service stations so, perhaps a quick coffee or comfort break before and during a rapid charge could be recommended. 

Rapid Charging

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On long journeys it is convenient to be able to pull into a motorway services and rapid charge your EV.  It is not, however, recommended that you use this form of charging on a regular basis.  A direct current (DC) rapid charge on a long journey is fine every now and again.  Regular rapid charging, however, can damage your battery.  At the very least, it can shorten a battery’s lifespan.  So, for the health of your battery take care not to use this type of charger on a regular basis.  A 7kWh (or 22kW) is both the kindest and most convenient way of charging your battery, especially if you have one installed at your home.

In Summary 

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So, now you know there are several ways you can protect and preserve the life of your EV battery.  There is even the possibility of recycling the battery too, so you’d be helping to protect and preserve the environment as well as your bank balance!  If the worst came to the worst, however, and your battery did degrade before its shelf-life was up, then the warranty would cover its replacement.  Finally, for ultimate convenience, protection and preservation of your EV battery, as well as economic advantages, a home charging unit is the best recommendation if you are able to have one installed.   

Get In Touch With South Wales EVWe're Here To Help 😇

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