An electric car has many benefits. It never needs gas, it creates zero emissions, and it can occasionally afford tax breaks to its owners. However, as reported by the Napa Know How Blog, electric cars do also have some downsides, particularly the battery life.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure the long term effectiveness of your battery, making sure that you won’t have to spend more time than necessary charging your vehicle.
How long does an electric car take to charge?
The normal amount of time it takes to get a charge depends on what type of outlet you have and what kind of car you’re driving. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, hybrid cars tend to take longer to charge than fully electric cars. Most home outlets for electric cars run at 120 volts, requiring an overnight charge before your battery is ready to go.
Obviously, this can cause problems if you’re expecting to be able to quickly charge your car. This means consistent planning is necessary when driving electric cars.
If you want to speed up this charging time, you’ll need to find a higher voltage charger. To cut the charging time in half, a 240-volt charger is a good choice. However, if you need to speed up your charge even more, you can use a 480-volt outlet.
These high-powered outlets can give you approximately 50 miles of charge in as little as 20 minutes, although these are generally only found in major urban areas. PluginCars.com also reports that frequently using these quick-charge stations will decrease the capacity of your batteries at a rate of approximately one percent per year.
Avoid extreme temperatures
According to the Napa Know How Blog, a study performed in 2014 by AAA found that electric car batteries react very poorly to extreme temperatures, with driving distances significantly impacted.
This study examined electric cars in stop and go traffic at 95 degrees F, 75 degrees F, and 20 degrees F. The cars driving in the moderate temperature performed best, with an average range of 110 miles.
However, in high temperatures, the cars were only able to drive approximately 69 miles. Finally, in low temperatures, the range dropped all the way to 43 miles. That’s an incredible 57% decrease in driving range.
Avoid fully charging your battery
While it may be tempting to charge your battery all the way and get the optimal range, this actually decreases the battery’s longevity. Constantly filling your battery and then draining it will, over time, reduce the amount of time it will hold a charge.
Instead, consider charging the battery to about 80%. While you won’t be able to drive as far with this charge, it will ensure your battery lasts as long as possible.
Don’t let the battery drain in storage
If you won’t be driving your electric car for an extended period of time, it’s important to take the batteries into consideration. Simply letting it drain means that, once you start driving again, it is likely that your electric car will take longer to charge.
According to PluginCars.com, a good rule of thumb is to keep your battery charged to about 60% while you’re not using the car.
Consistent care means shorter electric car charge times
Due to the relativeness newness of electric cars, it is difficult to know exactly how much of a difference it makes if you don’t take good care of your battery.
However, if you’re frequently finding that you need to spend longer charging your electric car only for it to quickly drain, implementing some of these tips is a good way to ensure the longevity and efficacy of your batteries.