Powering Up: Our essential tips for optimal EV charging

When a petrol-guzzler craves fuel, it’s a simple pit stop to quench its thirst. EVs, though, demand a different kind of TLC. You’ve got to take care of electric car batteries, ensuring they thrive for the long haul and don’t fizzle out prematurely. It’s not just a fill-up – it’s a strategic power play for the longevity of your electrified ride.

Every lithium-ion battery faces degradation over time. Fortunately, new electric car batteries are built tough, designed to outlast the vehicle itself. And with a touch of extra care, you can steer clear of any unexpected surprises on your electric journey.

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Avoid maxing out the charge

Forget the conventional norms – charge your lithium-ion batteries to 80%, not the mundane full charge. Most electric cars let you set a “target charge” at any level you want. Your ride, your rules. Check the manual and take charge!

However, for extended journeys, maximize range by setting the target charge to 100 percent. Conversely, when your EV is inactive, keep it plugged in but adjust the target charge to a lower setting.

Put the brakes on excessive rapid charging

Juicing up your EV with quick charge is like giving it a shot of adrenaline – but remember, every hit comes at a cost. Each shaves a bit off your battery life, especially in very cold conditions. Dialing down on quick charges is the key to boosting its longevity.

A low battery charges faster than a nearly full one. To save time and money at public charging stations, plan longer drives between stops and pre-condition the battery before each charge.

Remember not to push your EV’s battery to the brink. Keep it charged above 30% to maintain its energy and extend overall battery life.

Precondition: slash time, bank savings

Electric car batteries hit their stride between 15 and 26 degrees Celsius. That’s the Goldilocks zone where they not only perform at their peak, but also sprint to full charge faster.

Optimising your charging experience is easy with battery preconditioning. By incorporating the charger as a destination in your navigation system, your vehicle intelligently prepares for the upcoming charge by heating or cooling the battery, ensuring it’s primed for the fastest charging speeds. Say goodbye to delays and hello to hitting the road sooner than ever.

Power up with precision – timing is key

Juice while you snooze. But remember not to overdo it –  set the timer to cut the cord an hour or two before your morning escape. Because nothing says living on the edge like waking up to a fully charged ride, ready to take on the day.

Most EVs offer the convenience of charge timing customisation through either a dedicated mobile app or the integrated infotainment system. This allows you to preset various comfort features, such as cabin temperature, seat warmers, and steering wheel heaters, ensuring they are activated for when you need them.  This feature turbocharges your EV’s performance, fine-tuning its internal dynamics to slash the strain on the heater or air conditioner. The result? Maximised efficiency that supercharges your driving range.

Master the ideal battery charge state for extended periods of dormancy

For EVs taking a breather or facing an extended hiatus, here’s a gentle nudge. Avoid parking your EV with a completely drained or fully charged battery – both extremes aren’t great for the long haul. 

Instead of maxing out the battery before you part ways, opt for a more balanced approach, keeping the charge between 25 and 75%. It’s like finding the sweet spot for your EV’s energy levels, giving it a cozy resting place without pushing it to the limits.

What’s next?

Battery innovation tends to undergo significant leaps roughly every 30 years, and we’re on the cusp of the next wave. The next breakthrough will likely involve lithium-metal batteries, offering higher intensity, increased range, and reduced costs compared to current lithium-ion counterparts. AI and other technologies are anticipated to play a pivotal role in enhancing battery performance and safety, ushering in a new era driven by both hardware and software advancements.

The costs associated with battery technology are expected to decline as recycling efforts intensify. Initiatives, such as Ford and Volvo’s collaboration in California, signal a shift toward greater reliance on recycled materials like lithium, cobalt, and copper. The future vision involves treating the car itself as a source, lessening dependence on global raw material prices and fostering a more sustainable EV landscape.

But for now, buckle up and give your EV batteries the VIP treatment they deserve!

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