How to Extend Electric Car Battery Longevity
One of the main concerns that people have when considering purchasing an EV is battery longevity. The battery is undoubtedly the most crucial component of an EV. But just like the batteries in your laptop or smartphone, lithium-ion batteries, which are used in the majority of electric vehicles, tend to lose a portion of their capacity over time. While an EV needs to survive much longer than that, the majority of manufacturers equip electric cars with a built-in buffer that prevents the batteries from being fully discharged or fully charged up to 100%. This lowers the number of full charging cycles, which minimizes the electric car battery’s long-term deterioration and preserves as many usable ranges as possible. On the other hand, the typical battery warranty for electric vehicles is 8 years or 160,000 kilometers; however, new EV batteries can currently range from 300,000 to 800,000 kilometers. That means many recent EVs already have batteries that last longer than many gas-powered cars, which is more than enough for the majority of people.
Before planning how to lengthen the longevity of your electric car’s battery, remember that there are already built-in protections. The majority of recent EVs cannot be overcharged, discharged, or overheated. Just these built-in safeguards can significantly increase the lifespan of an EV battery. While maintaining an EV battery properly is essential for achieving peak performance and longevity, proper maintenance can also save you money in the long run as battery replacement can be expensive, it also helps to ensure that your EV is running at its best. As a result, it’s important for EV owners to know how to take care of their battery and extend its lifespan. To help your electric car battery last longer, there are a few actions you can take.
Maintain Moderate Temperatures
Car manufacturers design the electric car battery to operate within a specific temperature range. This means that temperatures that are too high or too low outside of that range can be damaging to the battery cells, eventually shortening the battery’s lifespan and compromising its performance.
It is crucial to make sure that your EV operates within the proper temperature range to ensure the longevity of its battery. It is important for you to take some precautions. For example, during the summer, it’s recommended to park your car in a shaded area or garage to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can cause the EV battery to heat up and potentially degrade its performance. By keeping the battery cooler, you can help maintain its efficiency and extend its lifespan.
Similarly, in the winter, it’s important to take steps to avoid exposing the electric car battery to extreme cold. That is because it can reduce the battery’s efficiency and make it more difficult to charge. You can use a block heater or preheat the battery before driving. This helps keep the battery warmer, ensuring that it performs optimally in cold weather.
Avoid Fast Charging Whenever Possible
Admittedly, fast charging is a more convenient option for the daily management of your EV use because it saves time. However, it can have a negative impact on the battery. The reason for this is that fast charging can heat up the electric car battery easily and quickly, which can cause harm to the battery cells. Ultimately, it will shorten the battery’s lifespan over time.
Alternatively, you can use a level 2 charger or a standard household outlet. Although these charging methods may take a longer time for you to fully charge the battery, they are less likely to cause damage to the battery cells. In addition, they allow the electric car battery to be charged more evenly. That can be greatly beneficial for extending its lifespan in the long run. Considering these factors, it is recommended to avoid fast charging whenever possible. Creating a proper charging plan based on your daily needs can help balance convenience and battery health, ensuring that your EV battery lasts as long as possible.
Your Charging Habits Matter
Both overcharging and undercharging your EV are not sustainable approaches and can be harmful to the battery. If this happens frequently, it’s important for you to pay attention to your charging habits. It’s important to keep in mind the reasons why overcharging and undercharging can be harmful to your EV battery. Overcharging can cause the electric car battery to heat up, which can damage the cells and shorten the battery’s lifespan. On the other hand, undercharging can reduce the battery’s capacity over time, leading to a decline in peak performance.
Monitoring your charging habits is essential to avoiding overcharging or undercharging your EV battery, ensuring its healthy maintenance. Fortunately, most electric cars come equipped with a built-in monitoring system that allows you to keep close track of the battery’s charge level.
Monitor Your Electric Car Battery‘s Health
It is highly recommended to monitor your battery’s health on a regular basis as well. By doing so, you can detect any potential issues early on before they become any more serious. Your EV’s onboard monitoring system can do an excellent job for you. It alerts you whenever there are any problems with the battery. Don’t worry if your EV doesn’t have this feature. There are third-party battery monitoring systems available on the market. Having a built-in monitoring system for your EV battery is a worthwhile investment because it can provide you with valuable information about the state of your battery, including its remaining capacity, charge level, and any potential issues.
Take Advantage of Regenerative Braking
The truth is that regenerative braking is created to allow the electric motor to perform as a generator. If we are able to use it properly, we can recharge the battery when the car is braking or decelerating. Here is a tip for you on how to use regenerative braking properly. You should drive your electric car in a way that maximizes the amount of time you spend braking or decelerating. To achieve that, you can drive at a slower speed and leave more space between your car and the car in front of you. It is a very useful feature that can help extend the life of the battery by reducing the need for external charging.
Avoid Leaving The Battery Fully Discharged
Leaving the battery fully discharged can cause damage to the cells and reduce the battery’s capacity over time, ultimately being harmful to its longevity. Therefore, try to avoid leaving the battery fully discharged whenever possible. Once again, there is a built-in monitoring system that can help you get an idea of the battery’s charge level. Regular use of this system can alert you to maintaining an appropriate level of batteries.
Don’t Add Load On The Battery
The less load we put on the battery, the more effectively we can help extend its life. We can achieve it by reducing the unnecessary use of accessories such as air conditioning, which can easily put a strain on the battery.
Additionally, driving at a constant speed, trying not to have sudden accelerations and decelerations that often, and avoiding driving at high speeds for extended periods can be beneficial for maximizing the efficiency of the battery.
Don’t Forget Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance plays an important role in extending the life of the battery. Performing a regular check on the air filter and tire pressure and having your battery inspected by a professional is important to ensure the proper functioning of your EV and the proper maintenance of the battery as well. Simply follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
If You Have a Need to Store the Battery
It is common if you have a need to store your electric car for an extended period. There are a few things to take care of beforehand. Firstly, you have to think about how to store the battery properly. An ideal solution should ensure that the battery is fully charged before storing your car and that it is stored in a cool and dry place. If possible, you should disconnect the battery from the car.
It is also important to keep in mind that you have to check the battery periodically if you need to store it for an extended period of time, making sure the battery is not discharging and is properly maintained throughout the time.
To quickly refresh your mind, by maintaining the right temperature, avoiding fast charging, monitoring charging habits, using regenerative braking, avoiding leaving the battery fully discharged, reducing the load on the battery, performing regular maintenance, and storing the battery properly, you can effectively ensure that your electric car battery lasts as long as possible. These tips can help you reduce the cost of owning an electric car and do your part to protect the environment.
As always, Carnex can provide you with detailed information about buying and owning electric vehicles in Canada.
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