How to Keep your Electric car battery in a healthy state?
Many of us rushed to or willing to buy an Electric car. Without a doubt getting our hands on this new fantastic technology will make most of us very happy. But on another side, this new technology will require a new way of treatment. Dealing with batteries, charging a Lithium-ion battery is quite different than adding some fuel in the gas station and leave.
Here below, we summarise the best tips to maintain your EV battery in its best state
1-leaving the battery at a 100% charge will damage it
Keeping the maximum capacity charge inside the battery for a long time will destroy your battery. When you intend to travel for a long-distance, don’t choose “Max” charging option and park the car for a while after that, If you chose the “Max” charge option. You better start your trip as soon as it finishes charging, according to Tesla Model S Tips. When you charge it to the max, don’t leave it more than 60 minutes, just finish the maximum charge cycle and start moving
Taking into consideration the required time for charging, you should adjust the charging start time + charging time to complete before you start your trip. It’s effortless to be done using charger timer option in the car.
In case your electric car doesn’t have Timer option, you can select the standard charging mode overnight and in the morning before you start your trip, charge the last 20% using “Max” charging option.
Always keep in mind that you don’t leave your battery at Max charge, even leaving it for a single day will affect its life in a longer-term. When your battery on maximum charge level, do not leave it longer than 8 hours maximum, or you are going to see a decrease in its performance, especially when you repeat this action.
Sometimes you will find yourself struggling between getting the maximum range of your vehicle or saving your battery health as possible as you can, using charging timer make it easy on you to charge the battery to its maximum limit and start your trip just after finishing. But keeping that charging cycle many times will put your battery under stress, and that explains why the EV manufacturer recommends using the normal or standard mode for charging.
Li-ion batteries best operation status will be in 30% to 90%, keeping the battery above or below the previous states for a long time will shorten your battery “operational life.” So if you don’t need the maximum charge, try to avoid it as possible as you can.
2- Deep Discharge will harm your battery
Maximum charging is not the only reason that will harm your battery, but also discharging your battery and leaving it in such state for a long time will damage it and shorten its operational life. That explains why the EV manufacturer prevents the usage of the battery pack from reaching a low critical level. Reaching such level may cause unrepairable damage to the battery component because the battery chemical elements may suffer something like “disassemble” and it will not accept any charging later. You’ll be left with a “piece of stone” in your car battery compartment.
Keeping your battery pack in a reasonable level of charge will enhance its health, which will not be achieved by charging your car in every charging station you see in the road, but by maintaining a fixed scheduled daily charging time.
So to make it clearer, when your battery charge level drops below 30%, you better hurry up and charge it, don’t leave it on that low level for a long time.
It’s essential to know that parking your electric car doesn’t mean that no battery discharge is happening, Tesla Model S is consuming 1% of the battery capacity daily even when it’s parked.
3- Temperature conditions might heart your Electric car battery.
The best operational temperature for Li-ion battery is between 20F to 85F, Tesla in Model S made a genius invention to prevent the weather conditions from damaging the battery back, which will result in un-stable working behaviour. Model S is equipped with a managed thermal system to counter the weather conditions and keep the battery in a stable working temperature. The managed thermal system will increase the battery pack temperature in the cold weather and reduce it in hot weather.
Electric car manufacturer knows that Lithium-ion batteries are very sensitive for weather change, especially the warm one, keeping this battery at a high temperature for a long time will decrease the lifetime and capacity. Nissan suffered from such a problem with its car, The Nissan LEAF. Owners in warm weather countries suffered from battery performance. It went down to 25% after three years of usage. Nissan warranty was eight years on the battery pack, and it had to replace LEAF damaged battery to satisfy its clients and avoid any legal problem that may occur.
The cold weather also harms lithium-ion batteries. It affects batteries chemical components, which will lead to a decrease in the capacity and operational period.
4- Electric car Battery storage requires a good plan.
Holidays and trips require special precautions to keep your car battery back in a good state, if you’ll leave it at home, better keep it at 50% and connected to the charger, then let the car handle the rest.
In case of parking the car in a place without access to a charger, consider that any electric vehicle has its daily discharge rate
So, to keep everything well balanced, you should do the math and charge it enough to the level that will sustain the parked period discharge daily rate and still have enough charge to drive you home without reaching the battery low critical charge level.
So let’s assume that you’re going on a holiday or a trip for ten days, and your Electric car is Tesla Model S which according to Tesla consume 1% of its charge daily even when not driving, and keeping in mind that the best battery charge level is between 90% to 30%. So you should park your car while it has about 50%, daily discharge for ten days will consume about 10% so at the end will be at 40% of charge. Assume your drive back to your home will consume less than 10%, so that is more than enough to take you home without dropping the battery charge below 30%.
5- Consider balancing your battery from time to time
Older batteries suffer from “battery memory problem”, this problem was affecting the charge capacity and performance. New Li-ion batteries don’t suffer as before, but they still very complex and consists of many small batteries combined in removable battery modules.
The Modern electric cars have an automatic battery balancing module, which is responsible for balancing the charge level for each battery cell, it adjusts the input distribution as possible as it can be to guarantee the best performance and operational life span, but the EV owner should do his homework.
Usually, most of the time you’ll not need to charge your car to its maximum capacity, but it’s beneficial for your battery to be charged to its maximum level from time to time, that helps the battery balancing management system to calibrate your batteries.
I think If the maximum charge has done every three months that will be enough, but of course, you should start driving it after the max charge cycle finish.
Lithium-ion batteries considered the most expensive part of the electric car. It will be wise of you to study your cars’ manual very well and follow the recommendations.
All the mentioned recommendations in this article are general for any electric cars and will help you to understand how to maintain your cars’ battery in the best state for best performance and longer life.