The care of an Electric Vehicle (EV) is not much different than a combustion-powered car. An electric car’s mechanisms are much simpler than those of a conventional car; it has fewer moving parts than a gasoline engine; it has a single-speed transmission and it has fewer parts that eventually break and need to be replaced or repaired. The major difference between the two is the large lithium battery used to store operating energy for the electric car.
When planning a trip or to store the EV for a longer period of time you have a little extra planning to do. The high quality of lithium-ion batteries used in EV’s is worlds apart from the quality of the lithium-ion found in cell phones and computers. EV’s self-discharging is so minimal that it is likely the user will not notice any loss of energy as you would in a cell phone or computer.
There are four factors that lead to diminished efficiency in an EV lithium-ion battery:
- Age of batteries
- Number of charging cycles
- Minimizing the number of full charges (100%) and low charges (5%)
- Temperature of the batteries
Most EV users can expect a battery life of 10-20 years if the batteries are properly cared for. If you have used a cell phone you are familiar with the concept of charging cycles. Simply stated a charging cycle is the process of fully charging, then discharging the battery. Lithium-ion batteries don’t do well in a high, or low state of charge. By leaving the battery charging to 100% you could accelerate the wear on the battery cells. The degradation process typically begins around 1500-2000 cycles with EV batteries. Some EV’s have a cabin overheat feature that helps keep the car cool when temperatures reach 105 degrees (consumes energy).
Always keep the EV away from harsh weather conditions such as cold and wind; if storing in the summer months try to keep the car under a covered area and shaded.
Best Charging Level
Lithium-ion batteries are best stored at around 50% of charge. You can help maintain the charge by keeping the car in a garage or under cover and away from snow, ice and high heat and keeping the EV on the charger. If you are leaving the EV for a longer time and you are unable to plug it in you should charge the EV to about 80-90% as it will consume energy while you are away. If you are leaving for a shorter time, consider a 70-80% charged level.
Energy Savings Tips
Each manufacturer has different recommendations based on if the EV is plugged in or not. You may be able to preserve battery consumption by setting the Sentry Mode to off; if equipped with an auto pilot feature you may want to set the Stand by Mode to off as this mode keeps the EV’s computer on so it has instant access to all features.
Avoid Frequent Remote App Connections
If you have an EV monitor application on your phone, make sure you park the EV in an area that has a strong cellular signal and connection.
Remember, each time you access your EV with your app it “wakes” the car up and it will stay in the this mode for about 15 minutes consuming more energy.
If you are leaving the EV plugged in you can expect the car will remain at the same charge percentage if there are no power outages. If the car is not plugged in you may expect a lower power supply. Most manufacturers recommend that you maintain about an 80% level of charge to extend battery life. We suggest you thoroughly review your manufacturer’s recommended care guide for extended storage and non-use periods.
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