We all know that the battery is the most expensive part of your EV. The tech that protects the battery is improving and is far more advanced than when the first EVs hit the market. This means that they should last way longer and cope better with extreme temperatures.
But even with all these advancements, it’s still great practice to look after your battery. After all, you want to get the most life out of your EV right?
How do we measure the “health” of the battery?
When we’re talking about a battery’s health, we call that its “state of health” (SOH). Batteries start out at 100% SOH, but over time this starts to fall.
This fall in SOH is entirely natural and happens to all types of rechargeable batteries. It reduces the amount of energy a battery can store and power it can deliver.
However, the key thing to know is that EV batteries normally provide more power than an EV actually needs to drive it forward. This means that even as the SOH falls, you won’t notice a drop in performance. What you will notice is that as the health of your battery declines it won’t be able to hold a charge as long, meaning you will lose a bit of range.
Despite that, there are some simple things you can do to give your EV battery the love it deserves and extend its life.
Keep your battery operating in the sweet spot
The amount of energy that a battery has left is known as its state of charge (SOC) and it’s usually shown as a percentage. Most people run their EVs in the 20-80% range and this is the sweet spot for keeping your battery in the best condition. Try to avoid long periods of very high, or very low SOC wherever possible.
Limit the use of DC fast charging – particularly in extreme heat
DC fast charging stations are great for when you need to top up your vehicle in a hurry. However, it’s best to limit the use of these fast-charging stations especially if it’s hot outside.
In fact, any charging in extreme temperatures is best avoided where possible. If you run your EV in the heat of an Arizona summer, try to charge at night, or at least in the cool of the shade or inside a garage.
Batteries have cooling systems built into them, but even still, it’s best to avoid high temperatures when charging wherever possible.
Charge your EV only when you need to
Most EVs now have enough range to be able to be run for a couple of days before they need charging. This is much better for the battery than plugging it in at the end of each day, especially when you’ve only clocked up 10 miles driving to the grocery store and back.
The good news is that in the vast majority of driving conditions, batteries will now outlast the life of the vehicle. These habits are great practice to give your EV battery the attention it needs, but don’t go losing too much sleep if you can’t follow them every time!