How to Increase the Lifespan of Your EV Battery: Best Practices
A healthy battery increases the range, performance, and resale value of your e-car and also saves you unnecessary hassle!
While you are way less subject to maintenance issues than with a combustion engine, maintaining the battery in an electric vehicle (EV) is crucial. Thanks to that, you will ensure that it performs at its optimal level and avoid costly battery replacements or repairs. Additionally, increasing the lifespan of the battery has proved to have numerous other benefits that we will explore along the way. Let’s dive into the must-know best practices to maintain a healthy battery.
The Benefits of Taking Care of Your Battery
Ensuring that the battery performs at its optimal level is beneficial for a number of reasons. A well-maintained battery will have a longer lifespan, which makes it keep its value and avoid sudden issues. A healthier battery also means a longer range and an improved performance — as it is the main things we look for in an EV, it will surely make your driving more enjoyable and convenient!
On top of that, but you would have imagined it, good maintainance will also make you avoid expensive battery replacements and repairs. Doing that on a battery can be a costly endeavor, and maintaining your battery can save you a lot of money in the long run. All in all, by taking good care of your battery and ensuring that it performs at its best, you can avoid unnecessary issues and enjoy a smooth EV experience for longer.
Lastly, it will help you reduce your environmental impact. Fewer batteries being thrown away means less strain on the environment. Even if the batteries are recyclables, few options exist at the moment and as of 2019, 95% have been found to finish in a scrapyard or destroyed.
Now that you are convinced that you should take proper care of your battery, we will discuss the main ways to increase its lifespan, including regular check-ups, good temperatures, and proper charging habits. By following these tips, you can keep your EV's battery running at its best!
II. Charging Habits
As it is the most important touchpoint that you have with your EV, knowing proper charging practices is crucial for maintaining the health of the battery and prolonging its lifespan.
Avoiding Overcharging or Undercharging the Battery
Overcharging might be one of the main causes of battery degradation. Overcharging occurs when the battery is charged beyond its capacity. This can cause the battery to overheat and degrade, affecting its capacities. On the other hand, undercharging the battery can also decrease its lifespan as it will not have enough energy to maintain its performance. A general rule of thumb is to charge the battery between 20-80% range.
On top of that, be careful to read and follow the recommended charging guidelines for your specific car: each EV model has different charging guidelines and it is important to follow them to ensure proper charging.
Using a Quality Charger and Charging Cables
Cheap or low-quality chargers and cables can damage the battery. thus, we recommend you to invest in a high-quality charger and cables to ensure proper charging. It will be a main driver of proper charging, avoiding you a lot of trouble. It's also important to use the charger that was specifically designed to work with your EV model, as using a generic one can cause problems with the charging process. Be sure to check the compatibility details when you buy a new one. You should also look for the proper certifications such as UL or CE, which indicate that the product has been tested and meets certain important safety standards.
Know where to store your EV
- Avoid extreme temperatures: High temperatures can cause the battery to overheat and degrade, while low temperatures can cause the battery to lose its ability to hold a charge.
- Storage is important: store the EV in a garage or covered area to protect it from seasonal heat or cold. Make sure your EV stays in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or covered area. It can help protect the battery from outside temperatures that could have an impact on your battery in the long run.
Charging Port Check-ups
Additionally, it's important to have a regular check-up of the battery and the charging system of your EV, including the state of the charging port, cables, and connectors. Be careful to quickly inspect any other public charging station that you use to spot any trouble. Damaged or corroded charging ports and cables can affect the charging process and reduce the battery's performance over time, and this can also be a safety hazard.
It's also important to mention that, for lithium-ion batteries like the ones used in EVs, the capacity fade happens over time, and it's expected that the battery loses some capacity over the years of use. It is normal degradation and it happens even with great care. However, by following the above-mentioned guidelines, you can minimize the capacity fade and prolong the anticipated life of your battery!
III. Driving Habits
As it controls the energy flows of your battery, your driving habits can have a big impact on its health and lifespan. Here are some tips to keep in mind when driving your EV.
Avoiding Extreme Temperatures
As we saw before, exposure to extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can damage the battery by overheating, while low temperatures can cause a temporary loss of capacity and reduced performance that can have an impact in the long run. If possible, avoid driving in extreme weather conditions, keeping your EV out in the sun and be sure to warm up your battery before taking the road in the snow.
Using the "Eco" or "Efficiency" Driving Mode
These modes can actually help extend the battery's lifespan. Many EV's come with these — they optimize the car's performance and energy consumption. As such, use these modes whenever possible to conserve battery power and reduce the strain on its capacity, resulting in an healthier battery!
Avoiding Long Periods of Idle Time
Leaving your EV untouched for long periods of time can drain the battery and decrease its lifespan. Thus, try to use your EV regularly: to keep the battery charged and healthy, make it hit the road for a few kilometers every two months at least. Also, it is recommended to keep your EV charged at 40% to 60% when left untouched for a long time. This will help mainting your EV battery in top condition.
IV. Battery Health Monitoring
Keeping an eye on the health of your EV's battery is essential for ensuring that it performs at its best and lasts as long as possible. It also permit you to identify potential trouble and adress them when it is still early enough. Here are some tips for monitoring the health of your EV's battery.
Using a Battery Monitoring System (BMS)
By using a battery monitoring system, you can track the health of your EV's battery and be alerted to any changes or abnormalities in its performance. Many recent EVs are compatible with apps and external monitoring systems that can be easily set up by plugging an OBD2 device into your EV.
Cardino’s Battery Checker
If you don’t want to buy a specific device and need help finding out your battery State-of-Health (SoH) from the comfort of your home, you can use our free online tool! Cardino’s battery checker can help you to monitor the health of your battery and detect issues before they become a problem. Our well trained algorithm has proven to reliably find the SoH of most EV batteries, from only a few basic details. Available soon!
Taking Note of Any Changes or Abnormalities
In addition to using a monitoring system, it's important to keep an eye your battery's performance and take note of any changes or abnormalities. If you notice any unusual behaviour, it could be a sign of an issue**:** look for such things as a sudden drop in the battery's range or an increase in charging time — it could cast light on something that needs to be quickly addressed. Indeed, we advise you to take proactive steps to address any potential issues before they become major problems!
V. Battery Replacement
The signs that a battery replacement may be necessary
- Decreased driving range or performance: as we just saw, one of the first signs that a battery replacement may be necessary is a decrease in the vehicle's driving range or performance. This can be caused by a number of factors, including battery degradation, which occurs over time as a result of many factors we exposed here, as well as unavoidable usage from the repeated charging and discharging cycles. If your EV’s battery is not holding a charge very well and it starts to be problematic, it may be time for a replacement.
- Visible signs of damage or wear: Another sign that a battery replacement may be necessary is visible signs of damage or wear on the battery itself. This can include cracks, leaks, or other physical damage to the battery.
The cost and process of replacing the battery
As said before, replacing the battery in an electric vehicle can be a costly and time-consuming process, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $15,000… not including labor costs!
However, most EV batteries have generous OEM warranty periods. Most automakers offer a warranty period of 8-10 years or 100,000 kilometers on their batteries. Keep in mind that the terms of the warranty can vary, so it is important that you check the fine print to be well aware of your situation.
Also look for warranty exclusions. Some exclusions usually include:
- The use of non-standard charging
- Any damage caused by using or installing non-approved parts
- Using the battery as a stationary power source
- Any damage caused by misusing the battery coolant reservoir
VI. Regular Professional Maintenance
Battery testing and inspection at a mechanic
Battery maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and performance of your electric vehicle's battery. That's why regular check-ups with a trusted mechanic are an absolute must. The frequency of these check-ups can vary, depending on the make and model of your EV and how much you drive it. It could be anywhere from every 6 months to once a year. Moreover, a regularly inspected EV will keep its resale value, as it will bring trust to the buyer.
When you bring your electric vehicle in for a check-up, the mechanic should perform a comprehensive battery test and inspection. It’s a regular tune-up that could save you a lot of money. The mechanic should be checking important details — from SoH to overall condition.
Identifying proper EV battery testing and inspection
Specifically, to make sure your battery is in top form, the mechanic should perform a battery voltage test, a load test, and an overall condition assessment. In addition, bring with you your battery cable and connections for them to be tested to make sure they're functioning properly and not negatively impacting your battery's performance.
If any issues are detected during the check-up, the mechanic should provide you with a report and recommendations for repairs or maintenance. This could involve servicing your car to bring your battery back up to top performance levels. By staying ahead of battery maintenance, you can keep your electric vehicle running smoothly for years to come!
The importance of regular monitoring and careful use in taking care of your EV’s battery
Proper care and monitoring is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of an EV battery. We saw that this includes many good practices around charging, temperatures, driving modes, storage, and more. By following the guidelines of this articles, we hope that EV owners can help ensure that their battery lasts as long as possible and avoid being bothered by costly and annoying replacements.
The cost and environmental benefits of increasing the lifespan of the battery
Finaly, prolonging the lifespan of the battery not only saves money in the long run, but it also has environmental benefits. As we discussed, battery production requires large amounts of energy and resources, and the disposal of used batteries can also have a negative impact on the environment. By increasing the lifespan of the battery, you can reduce the risk of going through a battery replacements, which in turn reduces the environmental impact of battery production and disposal.
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