Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the future of transportation. They are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and highly efficient.
However, one of the most significant challenges EV owners face is managing their batteries’ charging cycle. Proper charging practices are crucial for the longevity, performance, and safety of your EV battery.
In this article, we will discuss the best practices for charging your EV battery and debunk some common myths surrounding EV battery charging.
Types of EV Chargers
Before we dive into the best practices, let’s briefly discuss the types of EV chargers available in the market.
1. Level 1 Charger
Level 1 chargers are the slowest chargers, usually included with the purchase of an EV. These chargers are designed to plug into a standard household outlet and provide 120 volts of power.
|Type – L1 Charger||Specifications:|
|Power Used ( in Volts )||120V|
|Time (0 – 100% Charged)||8-12 Hours|
|Power Output||1.3 kW to 2.4 kW|
|EV Charge Range/hour||3-5 miles of EV range per hour.|
They can charge an EV battery from 0-100% in approximately 8-12 hours, depending on the battery size.
2. Level 2 Charger
Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt power source and can deliver up to 80 amps of power, allowing them to charge an EV battery much faster than Level 1 chargers.
|Type – L2 Charger||Specifications:|
|Power Used ( in Volts )||240V|
|Time (0 – 100% Charged)||4-6 Hours|
|Power Output||7 kW – 19 kW|
|EV Charge Range/hour||10 – 20 miles of EV range per hour.|
They can charge an EV battery from 0-100% in approximately 4-6 hours, depending on the battery size.
Level 3 Charger
Level 3 chargers, also known as DC fast chargers, are the fastest chargers available in the market. They can deliver up to 600 volts of power and can charge an EV battery from 0-80% in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the battery size.
|Type – L2 Charger||Specifications:|
|Power Used ( in Volts )||480 volts Upto 600Volts|
|Time (0 – 100% Charged)||30 Minutes|
|Power Output||25 KW|
|EV Charge Range/hour||200 miles of EV range per hour.|
Understanding EV Battery Chemistry
To understand EV battery charging best practices, it’s essential to understand the basic chemistry of EV batteries. EV batteries are typically made of Lithium-ion, which is highly efficient, long-lasting, and lightweight. However, they are also sensitive to temperature and voltage fluctuations.
EV batteries are designed to operate within a specific voltage range. Overcharging or undercharging can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan. Therefore, it’s essential to charge your EV battery to the recommended voltage range and avoid extreme temperatures.
Best EV charging practices
Here are some best EV charging practices to remember for a smooth and efficient charging experience:
1. Charging Frequency
EV batteries are designed to handle frequent charging cycles. In fact, charging your EV battery more often can be better than letting it drain completely. However, it’s essential to avoid overcharging and undercharging your battery.
- Overcharging: To avoid overcharging, it’s best to unplug your EV once it’s fully charged. Leaving it plugged in for an extended period can cause unnecessary stress on the battery and reduce its lifespan.
- undercharging: On the other hand, it’s essential to avoid completely draining your EV battery. If possible, charge your battery before it reaches below 20% capacity.
2. Temperature Considerations
Temperature is a critical factor in EV battery charging best practices. Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your battery within the recommended temperature range while charging.
If you’re charging your EV battery in extreme temperatures, such as in extremely cold weather, it’s best to keep the battery warm before charging. You can use the car’s heating system or plug it in a garage to keep it warm.
3. Charge to the right level
When charging your EV, it’s essential to know what charging level is appropriate for your needs. There are three levels of EV charging:
- Level 1 – charging is the slowest but can be done anywhere with a standard outlet or at home.
- Level 2 – charging is faster and requires a charging station.
- Level 3 – DC fast charging is the quickest, but not all EVs can use it.
Make sure to check your car’s manual for the recommended charging level.
4. Don’t let your battery run too low
If you want your EV’s Battery live long then you should not drain your battery drop below 20-30% charge. EV manufacturers also recommend, not letting your EV’s battery run too low before charging.
5. Use the correct charging cable
Not all charging cables are created equal, and it’s essential to use the correct cable for your EV. Most EVs come with a Level 1 charging cable, but you’ll need a dedicated cable for Level 2 or DC fast charging. Make sure to purchase the right cable for your car and charging needs. Make sure there are types of plugs as well. Type 2 EV charging cable is standard in Australia. Or for the cheaper options a 7kw portable EV charger is also available.
Proper battery maintenance is crucial for the longevity and performance of your EV battery. Here are some essential battery maintenance practices to keep in mind:
- Regularly check your battery’s charge level and avoid overcharging or undercharging.
- Keep your battery within the recommended temperature range.
- Avoid charging your battery to 100% or draining it completely.
- Regularly clean your battery terminals to prevent corrosion.
- Follow your EV manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
Common Myths About EV Battery Charging
There are several common myths about EV battery charging that can be misleading. Let’s debunk some of these myths:
Myth #1: Charging your EV battery to 100% will damage it.
Charging your EV battery to 100% won’t necessarily damage it. However, charging it to 100% frequently can cause more wear and tear on the battery, reducing its lifespan.
Myth #2: You should always drain your battery completely before charging it.
Draining your battery completely before charging it isn’t necessary and can be harmful to the battery’s lifespan. It’s best to charge your battery when it reaches below 20% capacity.
Myth #3: Fast charging is always bad for your battery.
While fast charging can cause more wear and tear on the battery, it’s not always bad for your battery. It’s best to use fast charging only when necessary and avoid frequent use.
should i charge my EV to 100% every night?
No, it’s not necessary to charge your EV battery to 100% every night. It’s best to charge your battery to a level that will meet your daily driving needs and avoid overcharging.
Overcharging can cause more wear and tear on the battery, reducing its lifespan. It’s recommended to charge your battery up to 80-90% and only charge it to 100% when necessary, such as for long-distance trips.
Why only charge EV to 80-90%?
Charging an EV battery to 100% capacity can cause more wear and tear on the battery, reducing its lifespan. This is because the battery’s chemistry is designed to operate best within a certain range of capacity. Charging the battery to 100% means it will be held at a high state of charge for an extended period of time, which can lead to accelerated aging of the battery.
On the other hand, charging the battery to 80-90% capacity can help extend the lifespan of the battery by reducing the amount of time it’s held at a high state of charge. Additionally, charging to a lower capacity can help reduce the risk of overcharging, which can cause the battery to become hot and potentially even catch fire.
Ultimately, the ideal charging level will depend on your driving habits and needs. If you have a shorter daily commute, charging to 80-90% may be sufficient to meet your needs. However, if you frequently take longer trips, charging to 100% may be necessary to ensure you have enough range to reach your destination.
Proper charging practices are crucial for the longevity, performance, and safety of your EV battery. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure that your EV battery remains in good condition for years to come.