by Jason Mueller, Guest Blogger, A-1 Auto Transport
Getting the most out of your EV battery doesn’t just help you travel farther, but it helps make sure you don’t find yourself stranded on the side of a road or embarrassed because you must find reliable EV transport during a road trip because you didn’t plan for battery charging and your battery runs out of juice to go any further.
Some EV batteries have higher drive time than others and it is essential that you take time to learn as much as possible about your specific battery and the car you own so you’ll know how often to charge for best driving performance.
When you use the right maintenance schedule, an EV battery can last for several years or longer. Here are ten sure fire ways to help extend the life of your EV battery and help prevent breaking down or having to buy a new battery sooner then you want to.
- Watch Your Speed
When the flow of traffic allows, try to drive slower as this will help conserve energy used from your battery. It isn’t always possible to drive slower, especially when traffic is going fast on the interstate, but choosing to take a road less travelled that may have a slower speed limit could be a smart alternative to driving fast and then having to spend hours recharging because you ran the battery down too fast.
- Stop Charging to the Maximum
Whether it is force of habit or you just believe getting a full charge will allow longer commute time, with lithium batteries, it is best to charge to around 80% rather than getting a full charge. Not charging fully allows space for regenerative braking that can convert kinetic energy into usable energy if there is enough space in the battery.
- Plan for Vacation Storage
If you have plans to fly to the beach this spring and your car will be sitting in an airport parking lot, be sure to have it charged enough to sit at the airport and then get you home when you return. If you’ll be taking a cab from your house, leave your car plugged in but set the charge at around 50% so it won’t overcharge while you’re away. Remember that the battery charge will go down a little as each day passes, so make sure you have enough charge to last until you return and can get home to charge again.
- Park in the Shade
Many people will park a mile away from a store just to avoid parking in the hot sun. When it comes to parking spots for your EV, try to find a shady place to pull over while you go inside. This is not only going to help keep the car cooler inside but will also help prevent the thermal management system under the hood from running the entire time or your battery overheating while you’re away and draining your battery charge.
- Take Time to Charge in the Heat
When it’s hot and muggy outside, you need to take more time to put your battery on charge. Lithium batteries don’t like the heat any more than you like it, and they tend to drain more when it’s hot outside.
- Search Your Route Ahead of Time
No matter where you’re going, you need to search ahead of time to see where the available charging stations along the way are located. Have a backup plan to be able to charge if the location you choose is already full or out of service. It’s not a good situation to find you need a charge quickly and have no idea where an EV charging station is located. To locate charging stations nationwide, you can check the website PlugShare to find one along your driving route. https://www.clippercreek.com/tax-credits-2017-extended/
- Stop Quick Charging
Using quick charge to charge your EV battery seems like a great way to get a charge fast so you can drive, and yes you can charge faster when you put the battery on quick charge, but every time you use quick charge, it takes a little life away from the battery. Let’s put this into perspective. If you charge with a normal charge for eight years, your battery might show at least 80% left in it. Charging with a quick charge for all those years can decrease your battery life down to 70% or lower in the same amount of time. While it may not seem like a major difference, it is the difference between a battery lasting for a few more years or finding yourself in need of spending money to buy a new battery sooner than you planned.
- Avoid Deep Discharging
If you let your EV battery discharge completely before recharging, it can take time off the overall life. If you see your battery dipping down near the 30% mark, you need to charge it, so it won’t get any lower or won’t stay low for a long period of time.
- Time Your Charge
Many people tend to plug their EV battery in at night, so it can charge while they sleep. This is an ideal time to charge, but you need to watch the time it charges so it isn’t on the charger for too long. If you don’t already know, lithium batteries are most stable when they are holding at around a 50% charge, but this is not usually enough charge to keep your car going if you need it to during your busy day. Since this is not always a good option, you need to make sure your charge time is not too long and that you don’t unplug the battery and take off for a drive immediately. If your charger has a timer, set it to shut off at least an hour or two before you plan to leave your house in the morning. This way, the battery is charged and is not hot for the drive.
- Mountain Mode
If you own a hybrid and plan to drive on a route that includes hilly or steep terrain, switch the car over to Mountain Mode so it will use the power from the gasoline and will conserve the battery power during the drive. Mountain Mode should be switched on at least 25 minutes before you reach the steep terrain, so your battery doesn’t go into a deep discharge as you are driving uphill.
While many of the newer EV’s can be plugged in to charge anytime and many companies have now added built-in measures to help ensure batteries cannot be overcharged or will overheat, these tips are still important and can help you wrangle at least a few more drives out of the life of your EV battery. Be sure to check with the dealership as well as inside your automobile manual for recommendations on keeping your battery charged and helping ensure it has a long life.
About Jason Mueller: Jason has a blessed life where he lives in an eco-village. He loves the movement towards green energy and transport. He has contributed by creating a website that connects homeowners to solar contractors.
© 2022 Enphase Energy, Inc.
Thank you for reaching out! Congratulations on the new EV! We do recommend consulting the vehicles owner handbook for vehicle specific charging recommendations and best practices. In general the best time to recharge is overnight (when electricity rates are the lowest). Most vehicles will come with an occasional use, portable charging cordset that can be plugged into a standard household outlet and this is something that can be utilized for charging while you are waiting for your permanently installed home charger. With a daily commute of 12 miles you should be able to recover that range with a couple hours of charging each night.
I have just purchased my first EV. Vauxhall corsa, however won’t be able to get a home charger for 6 months, I do 12 miles per day, what’s the best way to charge and how often
Thank you for contacting us. You could charge the vehicle at a lower rate, but you should not see any adverse effects on the battery pack if you did charge at the full 32A. A vehicles onboard charger is most efficient when charging at its max rate. Additionally, the vehicles on-board battery management system will regulate power flow into the batteries and keep the battery pack in the best possible state during the charging process to maintain the battery life as best as possible.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.
I charge my M3 almost excLusively on my home 240;v 32 amp charger which came with the car. I have noticed that I can often lower the charging rate from 32amps to say 15 amps during the night and still be at my desired 80% rate in the morning. Would this be a recommended way to charge? Please send a copy of your response to my e mail. Thank you
Thank you for reaching out. First, I would recommend checking your vehicle’s owner manual for the best charging practices.
Your vehicle has on-board battery management system, which will regulate power flow into the batteries and keep the battery pack in the best possible state during the charging process to maintain the battery life/longevity as best as possible so charging to full each time should not have a detrimental effect on the battery.
In general, a vehicle’s battery pack is best when kept between 20% and 80% full. If you need the mileage for your next trip, I would recommend plugging in. If you do not need the mileage, you could deplete the battery more and charge up overnight when your commute for the day is completed.
1We just bought PHEV. When we take a short trip during the day should we reconnect to replace a 25% discharge or wait until there is a larger reduction?
We use the term “quick charging” when referring to DC Fast Charging.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Hi What do you mean by “Quick Charge” DC charging or 32 amp charging?
Thank you for reaching out! Our Product Specialist Team would be happy to help you in selecting the right charging station. We have passed this inquiry to them and they will respond via email shortly. Feel free to give us a call at 530-887-1674 if you would like discuss over the phone.
I’m a retired Tesla 2020 Model 3 owner. So far I have only charged at home on a std. 110 outlet. This usually satisfies my daily driving needs. I have considered upgrading to a smart 240 programmable charger and utilize only off-peak charging. Would you recommend this change and could you recommend a specific charger?
Thanks for reaching out, great question! We use the term “quick charging” when referring to DC Fast Charging. You should see no noticeable difference on the battery pack longevity when charging at Level 1 (120V) or Level 2 (240V); charging at Level 2 is actually more efficient for most vehicles. The vehicles on-board battery management system will regulate power flow into the batteries (in either charging scenario) and keep the battery pack in the best possible state during the charging process to maintain the battery life as best as possible.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Question when you refer to avoiding quickcharging are you also including using a 220 charging station at home or do you mean the fast EVSE charging stations in public areas.