How to extend the life of your Electric Vehicle Battery

 In Neal's How-To's

Electric vehicles have become more and more popular even here in North Carolina. One of the most commonly asked question is how long will the battery last? Most all-electric cars batteries have an 8 year, 100K mile warranties, some even better, like Nissan’s 5 year 60,000 mile warranty for loss of battery capacity. Still all batteries’ fullest mile range will reduce over time due to ware, weather and other factors, and a new battery can cost you anywhere from $1000 to more than $6000, depending on the type of car and battery.

Good thing is that there are some things to keep in mind to avoid in order to ensure your EV battery runs as well and as long as possible.

  1. Avoid fully charging. Charging to full is good, right? Not exactly. All lithium ion batteries, including the ones in electric vehicles, operate best at about 80%.
  2. Avoid draining charge. If possible keep the battery charge over 30%. Some suggest 20%. So really, the best range of battery charge should be anywhere from 20-80%. Doing so will prolong the life of your battery. This applies to your cell phone batteries as well!
  3. Avoid speeding. Electric vehicles are fun to drive but increasing the battery demand by speeding or quick accelerating can chip away at your EV battery. Watching your speed and maximizing regenerative breaking by coasting when possible can help prolong battery life.
  4. Avoid quick charging. Quick charging is great and convenient when needed, but the higher voltage can chip away at your battery life.
  5. Avoid using battery mode for hilly rides in hybrids. If you have a hybrid like the Toyota Prius, and you know you will be driving in hilly steep roads, switch the car to use gasoline at least 20-25 minutes before you reach the area. This will help keep your battery from being drained too quickly for the inclines.
  6. Avoid extreme temperatures. Park in the shade or garage whenever possible. Heat not only demands more battery to cool later one, it directly effects and degrades the battery.

All cars, whether electric or fuel dependent, have a shelf life. With normal wear and tear an electric car can last you a long time, but by taking some of these measures, you can also extend your battery and car that much farther.



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