How to Increase the Battery Life of an Electric Vehicle
How to Increase the Battery Life of an Electric Vehicle

How to Increase the Battery Life of an Electric Vehicle

June 25, 2024
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The global electric mobility market is experiencing unprecedented growth, with projections indicating that electric vehicles (EVs) will represent over 60% of global passenger vehicle sales by 2040. A combination of technological advancements, environmental considerations, and favourable government policies drives this surge in EV adoption. In countries like the UK, EVs are expected to constitute 50% of all new vehicle sales in the coming years.

In this scenario, The battery is the heart and soul of any EV. It’s also the most expensive component, often accounting for up to a quarter of the total cost of the EV. Given this significant investment, it’s natural to want to maximise the lifespan of your EV battery. The number of charge cycles, operating temperatures, and the passage of time primarily influence battery degradation. To get the most out of your EV battery, it’s crucial to understand and implement a few key practices. Regular charging, moderate driving habits, and minimizing exposure to deep charging, fast charging, and extreme temperatures are essential steps.

 Following these guidelines can ensure that EVs run smoothly for years.

Reduce Exposure to Intense Heat While Parked, Charging and Driving

According to the American Automobile Association, the operating range of the average electric car decreases by 41% when ambient temperatures drop to or below 20°F, and by 17% when the temperature rises to 95°F. Frequent exposure to extreme heat while parked can pose significant risks. An automated temperature control system in your electric car may unnecessarily drain the battery to maintain optimal temperature. Ideally, this system should operate using the car’s battery while driving.

To prevent unwanted battery drain, park your electric car in the shade or plug it in so the thermal management system relies on grid power. This ensures a stable temperature range during operation. Pre-cooling your car before charging can also help extend the lifespan of your EV battery. In hot climates, using active cooling methods can further enhance battery longevity.

Limit frequent use of your EV at 100% state of charge.

While a full charge might seem ideal, it can actually shorten your battery’s lifespan. Aim to keep your battery charge between 20% and 80% for daily use, saving full charges for long trips. This balance helps maintain optimal battery health

 

Avoid Deep Discharges

Lithium-ion batteries thrive on partial cycles. Avoid letting your battery drop below 10% charge, and try not to charge it above 80-90% regularly. Deep discharges can damage the battery and reduce its capacity over time, resulting in complete damage.

Reserve Fast Charging for Emergencies

While fast charging is convenient, it can strain the battery and degrade the electrode materials over time. Using standard charging whenever possible can extend your battery life by up to 10% over eight years. Reserve fast charging for emergencies or road trips.

Maintain the Ideal Battery Charge Level during Extended Storage

Parking or storing EVs with completely empty or fully charged batteries can lead to degradation. If you don’t use your electric car frequently or plan to leave it parked for an extended period, consider using a timed charger and keeping it plugged in. Leaving your vehicle at 100% charge for a long time can cause the battery to struggle with maintaining its charge. A good strategy is to set the charger to maintain a charge level between 25% and 75%, avoiding both extremes and preserving battery health.

When leaving your car parked and plugged into a charger, ensure it has sufficient ventilation to allow heat to dissipate during charging cycles. Modern battery management systems in electric vehicles are designed to prevent both full charging and complete discharging, thereby extending the efficiency and longevity of the batteries.

Abstain heavy Acceleration and Maintain a Constant Speed

Aggressive driving, including rapid acceleration and hard braking, can quickly deplete the battery and cause wear on its electrode materials. Drive smoothly and maintain a steady speed to conserve battery life and enhance overall efficiency.

Prepare your Car in Advance for Specific Driving Needs

Instead of letting your battery run down to low levels, recharge it in the evening or as needed. Frequent topping-off is better than performing full charge cycles. Keeping your EV within its performance limits helps prevent unnecessary battery degradation.

Utilizing Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking captures energy during braking and stores it in the battery, extending your EV’s range and efficiency. Make the most of this feature to maximise the battery lifespan.

Follow EV Owner’s Manual for Optimal Practices

Different EVs have specific guidelines for maintaining battery health. Some models, like the Tesla Roadster, feature a “storage” mode to maintain a lower charge level. Check manual for best practices and features like “sleep” mode for extended inactivity.

Constantly Incorporate Software Updates

Regular software updates from manufacturers can improve battery management and vehicle efficiency. These updates may adjust settings based on environmental factors like temperature and altitude, enhancing overall battery health.

Conclusion

As the market evolves, EV owners must adopt best practices for battery maintenance to ensure the longevity and efficiency of their vehicles. Minimising exposure to extreme temperatures, opting for standard charging over fast charging, maintaining an optimal state of charge, and driving at a constant speed are essential strategies for extending battery life. Looking to the future, the role of electric cars is set to expand substantially, revolutionising the automotive industry and contributing significantly to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Advances in battery technology and infrastructure development will further enhance the viability and convenience of EVs. It’s important to emphasize the practical steps that EV owners can take to maximise their investment.

By following these guidelines, drivers can not only extend the lifespan of their batteries but also ensure a more sustainable and cost-effective driving experience. The transition to electric mobility is not just a trend; a pivotal shift towards a cleaner, greener future, and responsible battery management is a key component of this journey.

 

 

 

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