We all want to make sure our car lasts as long as possible. But with all the unfamiliar technology inside an electric car, there’s a new set of precautions drivers should take. Yesterday we talked about the lifespan of EV batteries and found Teslas could last 300k-500k miles. Today we’re going to take a look at the things killing your EV and find out how you can keep it on the road for as long as possible.
Avoid using the whole battery
The most important thing you need to learn to extend the life of your EV is proper charging habits. You probably don’t need 300+ miles of range for your daily commute. And regularly charging to full can seriously hurt the life of your battery. It’s generally recommended to set your car to charge to 80%-90%.
Charging the battery fully also makes the car less efficient. If your battery is full, you can’t take advantage of regenerative braking, as Elon Musk explains.
Fully discharging your battery can also hurt its lifespan. It’s generally recommended to avoid discharging your battery below 30%. Most EVs have settings to make limiting your battery use easy, with a separate mode for road trips.
If you do need the range, use it. Going on road trips isn’t going to suddenly and unexpectedly kill your car. But poor charging habits every day for several years will have an impact. When you only need to drive 20 miles in a day charging fully won’t give you any benefit.
Heat is the enemy of lithium batteries. Excessive heat is the main contributing factor to battery degradation. Unfortunately, it’s also the thing we have the least control over.
At the very least make sure to try to park in the shade. Try to limit driving on hotter days if you can help it. Maybe avoid going on long road trips during the hottest month of the year.
Don’t stress out checking the weather every morning to see if you might lose 0.01% of your battery’s life to heat. But do keep this in mind whenever you plan to do a lot of driving.
Avoid fast charging
Fast charging can be really convenient, but it also generates a lot of heat. Like we said earlier, your battery does not like this heat. But unlike the weather, this is heat you actually have control over.
Just like with fully charging your battery, fast charging should generally be avoided. There will always be situations where you need fast charging. But always stop and think if you need the extra range. There might be a convenient Supercharger nearby and you might think it would be cool to top off while you get some errands done. But if you’re just driving around town anyway do you even need to charge?
Only use fast charging when you actually need it, like on road trips. When you’re just driving around town you can charge at home. Fast chargers are great when you actually need them, no one wants range anxiety. But you shouldn’t be relying on fast chargers and using them regularly if you want to maximize the life of your EV’s battery.
If you just keep these 3 things in mind your new electric car should last you a very long time. Developments in battery technology could soon make these concerns a thing of the past. But until then being diligent is key to keeping your EV on the road for years to come.
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