Preserving Your EV Battery Life: 7 Need-to-Know Tips

Man charging his EV.

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Preserving an EV’s lithium-ion battery is one of the most vital maintenance tasks new owners must know. Some EVs can reach up to 400,000 miles on one battery, but it’s your job to help your car get there. Proper battery maintenance will prevent the battery life from excessively degrading and help you avoid significant electrical issues. Here are seven need-to-know tips for preserving the battery life of your EV.

1. Minimize Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

You should make a point to minimize your car’s exposure to bad weather whenever you can. Try to avoid driving your EV on blistering hot days or in freezing conditions. We know this is a demanding request, but it will go a long way towards maintaining the battery’s health.

High temperatures can degrade or melt parts of the battery, leading to the loss of oxygen and electrolytes that help power the vehicle. Cold temperatures slow the ion diffusion rate within the battery, which reduces the battery’s power output and shortens its life span. You can’t avoid driving in these conditions entirely, but every effort helps.

2. Park in Moderate, Dry Areas

The best thing you can do to avoid extreme temperatures is park in dry, moderate climates. This environment prevents the car’s body from getting damaged by the elements and will prevent the battery from heating up and draining while not in use.

Just like our cell phones and laptops, an EV’s battery life plummets once it starts to overheat, even if we’re not using it. Choosing the right parking spots for your EV will ensure the battery life remains more consistent and your car will be healthier for a longer period.

This task should be easy if you have a garage, as you can implement many climate control features to optimize your parking space.

EV being charged.

3. Let Your Battery Rest Before Charging

When you reach your destination and prepare to charge your EV, let it rest for several minutes before plugging the vehicle in. The battery was working hard while driving, so let it restabilize itself before giving it another power boost. This small effort ensures your battery charges properly and doesn’t overheat while you’re away.

4. Avoid Charging to 100%

Charging to 100% is also a no-no with EVs. It’s unnecessary to charge it that much and electronic devices that frequently sit at 100% power work harder and lose more of their lifespans. That means you should pull the plug at around 90% at the latest. Batteries tend to operate better at medium-high power than full power.

5. Don’t Rely on Fast Charging

Most EVs have a “fast charging” mode that charges your battery to 100% in just a few minutes. While this feature is convenient in a pinch, you should not rely on it too often. It sends excessive amounts of power into the battery in a short period of time, putting unnecessary strain on your battery and shortening its life over time.

Stick with the standard charging method your EV is more accustomed to and save the fast charging mode for emergencies only. This habit can improve the vehicle’s battery life by up to 10% over eight years of usage, saving you power and money.

6. Charge to a Healthy Level Before Long-Term Storage

Just as you’re supposed to fill a traditional vehicle with gas and change the fluids before putting it away for storage, you need to charge your EV’s battery to ensure it stays in decent condition while not in use. As previously mentioned, 100% is overkill. Just charge the battery to a moderate level of around 60%. Your EV will sustain this number without much stress.

When you take your car out of storage, it will have a stable battery and you can drive away knowing you did everything right to promote its long-term health while it was inactive.

7. Expect Long-Term Battery Degradation

Even if you take all of this advice and apply it every day, you should still expect to see some long-term battery degradation. Our other electronic devices experience shorter life spans over time and your EV battery life is no different. Don’t be hard on yourself if you notice your battery’s performance slipping after a few years.

Minor long-term degradation from frequent usage is one thing, but you should be concerned if you notice a swift dropoff. If you think a more serious problem has occurred, trust that intuition and contact your manufacturer.

Treat Your EV Right

Electric vehicles might require less maintenance than traditional gasoline vehicles, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the fundamentals and use your EV however you want. You need to take the proper precautions to preserve your EV and its battery life and ensure it remains your go-to vehicle for years to come.

Avoid extreme temperatures, practice smart charging habits, and park or store your EV in the right environment. These tactics won’t eliminate battery degradation entirely, but they will help keep your EV healthy and functional for the foreseeable future.

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