Should I Charge My Electric Car Every Night?
Topic: Should I Charge My Electric Car Every Night
One of the most underrated benefits of driving an electric vehicle (EV) is never stopping at a gas station again. In addition to saving money compared to gasoline, electric vehicle charging is the most convenient option for many drivers. Here’s why and how to optimize battery performance.
Let’s say you drive about 35 miles a day, which most Americans drive on average. In this scenario, you could plug it in once a week for a long time to fully charge an electric car from 0% to 100%. This is how most people fill up on gas, which makes sense; A detour to the gas station is an added rush when driving between your home, the grocery store, work, and anywhere else. Since you’re doing your best to refuel, the most efficient option is to go out when your car’s fuel tank is empty.
Charging electric vehicles is different because electricity is more accessible than gasoline. The connection only takes 5 seconds. The charging stations are located in places where you would park anyway, such as at home, in the office, or a public parking lot when visiting restaurants, movie theaters, entertainment venues, other entertainment venues.
Because of this, electric vehicle drivers charge opportunistically, taking advantage of a station if available nearby. For most people, that means recharging when they get home to replenish the miles traveled that day, but an opportunistic EV driver plugs in anywhere for some extra power.
“But I don’t have 60 hours to recharge!”
The table below shows how long it takes to charge a certain number of miles under the two most common charging speeds: Level 1, which charges a car at approximately 4 miles/hour, and Level 2, which charges a car at approximately 24 miles per hour. Hour. New to loading speed jargon? Find out more here.
|Range||Time to charge at Level 1||Time to charge at Level 2|
|35 miles||8.5 hours||1.5 hours|
|100 miles||25 hours||4 hours|
|240 miles||60 hours||10 hours|
Many potential EV drivers are intimidated because it can sometimes take 60 hours to charge A battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) employing a ‘normal household outlet. In practice, drivers of electric vehicles find that plugging in them saves time compared to driving to service stations and that most cars are parked long enough to have a long-range. The average car is in motion for only 6 hours per week and stands still for the remaining 162 hours each week.
By driving approximately 35 miles a day and leaving your EV plugged into a regular outlet overnight, you can replenish the miles you drove that day without changing your lifestyle. The surveys we have collected show that only about 55% of drivers have chosen to install Level 2 charging at home.
Maybe you regularly drive 240 miles a day, in which case waiting 60 hours for a full charge is out of the question. Installing a level 2 charger in the home ensures that an overnight charge restores the battery to almost 100%.
Charging at the workplace can be just as convenient as charging at home, and many office spaces interested in sustainability choose to install charging as a benefit to employees. Level 2 recharging at many workplaces is free.
Battery charge and health
Draining a 0% lithium-ion battery doesn’t just cause range anxiety; this will be detrimental to the battery’s long-term health. Data from more than 6,000 vehicles shows that electric vehicle batteries are strong enough to withstand thousands of charge and discharge cycles over many years while maintaining good performance, meaning that the vast majority of electric vehicle drivers will never have to worry about replacing the battery.
On average, electric vehicle batteries are expected to lose about 2.3% of the range each year due to natural aging. For an electric vehicle with a range of 250 miles, that’s just 4 miles per year.
However, there is no reason to take battery technology for granted. Electric vehicle owners can be kind to their batteries by ditching the old “gas station” paradigm for refueling cars and preventing the battery from draining to 0% as much as possible. Think of an EV battery like a cell phone; if it’s around 20%, you should probably just plug it in regardless of when you need to drive next. At the same time, there is no need for constant 100% recharging unless you need to rely on your vehicle’s entire range. Staying between 20% and 80% of battery capacity will give you many driving miles and be battery friendly.
The only exception? In winter, staying plugged in keeps the battery warm. Since battery power is needed to heat a battery to its optimal operating temperature, staying plugged in will extend runtime in cold weather. If you see a 30% or more loss of range, staying connected will alleviate range anxiety.
Battery status and storage
Due to door-to-door orders, cars are parked more than usual. Lithium-ion batteries do not like being stored at 100% or 0% for long periods of time because being at one end or the other puts excessive pressure on the battery.
The Kia Niro EV has an EPA-estimated range of 239 miles, but it can drive much farther on a full charge in hot weather. If you don’t drive that far in one day, there is no reason to keep your car 100% charged all the time.
If you don’t drive your car for a while, try to keep it half full. Like the 2019 Chevy Bolt, some electric cars allow you to determine your car’s maximum load for easy storage. Otherwise, charge to about 50%, then unplug if you won’t be driving for several days or weeks.
The main exception to this general rule is Tesla, which recommends drivers keep their cars plugged in during long-term storage. This is because the cars are connected to the internet for remote control and wireless software updates, which can drain the battery as low as 0% if it is unplugged during storage. Always check your owner’s manual to confirm the best storage procedure for your EV.
To carry out
1. You do not need to drain a 0% EV before recharging, as you would when refueling. Try to stay between 20% and 80% of capacity, except when you have to depend on your vehicle’s entire range.
2. When you are not driving your electric vehicle for a week or more at a time, keep the car battery halfway.
3. In winter, an electric vehicle can lose up to 30% of its range due to the cold. Staying plugged in will keep the battery warm and maximize range.