Charging an electric car is probably one of the most ordinary activities you can have with an EV next to driving it. This begs the question: Should I charge my electric vehicle every night?
Read on to find out how often we need to plug in our EVs. Let’s also look at efficient charging habits and how we can take care of our car’s battery in the process.
Is It Necessary To Charge Your EV Nightly?
You don’t need to plug in your electric vehicle every night.
Range anxiety – the fear of running out of power in the middle of a trip – is a concern among EV drivers and would-be electric car owners. It’s ranked as one of the top reasons people are hesitant to make the switch to electric driving.
As such, in order to dispel worries about emptying an EV’s battery mid-trip, some resort to frequently plugging in night after night.
A closer look at our current electric vehicle technology, though, could help ease this anxiety about range.
The UK government website describes range anxiety as a common misconception. They debunk this misconception and reveal that an EV is perfectly capable of meeting the travel needs of most drivers.
In addition, there are electric cars capable of running for more than 200 miles. The UK government also states that some soon-to-be-released models promise a range of over 300 miles.
On their own website, the Evening Standard states that “Most people drive no more than 100 miles per week and even the oldest, smallest electric car – the Nissan Leaf – could do 109 miles on a single charge back in 2010.”
Aside from range anxiety, another concern about driving an electric car is charging anxiety. This is the fear that there aren’t enough charging stations around. This concern also affects EV uptake because people have a notion that topping up will be a problem once they decide to go for electric mobility.
While charging infrastructure is still in the process of growth and improvement, the UK government assures there are enough chargepoint locations in the country to meet driver demands.
The government also hasn’t slowed down when it comes to deploying more EV chargers as evidenced by the continuous rollout of grants and funding for chargepoint installations.
Again, if you’re afraid of not making it to your next destination because of your EV’s limited running capacity, DON’T. The current capability of your car, plus the growing public chargepoint network is enough to make up for daily commutes and long trips.
That said, is it safe for your EV’s battery if you charge it every night?
There have been differing opinions regarding topping up nightly. Some believe that frequent recharge can affect an EV’s battery life. A look at the finer details reveals a lot about our charging habits and how they affect the health of an EV battery.
How Long Can an Electric Car Sit Without Charging?
The length of time an electric car can sit without charging depends on several factors, including the car’s battery capacity, the state of charge when parked, and the ambient conditions. Electric vehicles (EVs) typically have a built-in battery management system (BMS) that helps optimize battery performance and prevent excessive discharge.
Modern electric cars generally have a standby mode that consumes very little energy when parked and not in use. In this mode, the car’s systems are kept operational while minimizing battery drain. The specific energy consumption during standby mode varies between different car models.
Typically, an electric car can sit without charging for several weeks to a few months without any issues. The BMS in the vehicle monitors the battery’s state of charge and adjusts the energy consumption accordingly. However, it’s generally recommended to plug in the car and keep the battery charged when not in use for extended periods, especially if you expect it to be parked for several weeks or more.
If an electric car’s battery is allowed to fully discharge and remain in that state for an extended period, it can lead to battery damage or a reduced capacity. To maintain the battery’s health, it’s advisable to keep the state of charge within the recommended range and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for long-term parking or storage.
It’s worth noting that the technology and recommendations regarding electric vehicles are continuously evolving, so it’s always a good idea to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for the most accurate and up-to-date information specific to your electric car model.
Expand your understanding and explore further. Click here to learn more: How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?
EV Car Charging Don’t’s
While charging your electric vehicle can be as simple as plugging in, there are many practices car owners do that affect an EV battery’s life. It’s good to be in the know if we want to maximise the use of our EV. We must also be aware of which habits to avoid to get the most out of our electric vehicles.
Moreover, it’s important to keep in mind that electric driving technology has gone a long way. Manufacturers have since developed various features in EVs for an optimal and efficient driving experience.
Some of these features include preventing prematurely damaging the car’s battery.
In spite of these technological advancements, good habits go a long way in ensuring that an EV’s batteries will not die out on you.
So better take note of the following practices that could harm your EV battery.
Always Charging to 100% Or Depleting The Battery Often
We may not realize it, but habitually charging your EV up to 100% can damage its batteries. You’d get the same result when you often completely discharge your EV’s batteries.
There may be instances where you drain your EV’s battery dry once in a while, or fully charge it on occasion. Just make sure that this happens rarely to maintain the efficiency of your car battery and prevent damaging it sooner.
Do: Keep the battery to 20% before charging up to 80% to help avoid shortening an EV battery’s life span.
Using Rapid Chargers Often Instead Of Slower Ones
Rapid chargers can save us a lot of time when topping up. With a 50 kWh charging speed, this device can provide up to 80% of power in as little as 30 minutes. On the other hand, it can fully charge an EV in just an hour or even less.
However, repeated and constant charging at this speed can be detrimental to an EV battery’s health.
Rapid charging supplies a considerable amount of power to a battery in a very short amount of time. Frequently exposing the battery to this kind of stress could damage it.
According to manufacturer Kia, you can add at least 10% to your EV battery’s life doing standard charging compared to faster top-up rates.
Do: Keep rapid charging to a minimum. Opt for standard (or even slow chargers) as often as you can. Remember to recharge with rapid devices only when you absolutely need it.
Charging When the Battery’s Temperature Is Too High (Or Too Low)
Charging your electric vehicle under extreme temperatures is definitely a NO. That means it’s best to avoid topping up when your battery is too hot or too cold.
The numbers you’d need to be mindful of would be 50-70°C. Charging when your battery temperature is this high could result in critical heat levels.
In the same way, charging your EV when it’s in a completely cold condition especially when it’s left in freezing weather can be as harmful. Though some argue that charging the battery in a cold state doesn’t necessarily shorten a battery’s lifespan, it’s always better to err on the safe side.
Fortunately, there is available technology now that cools down or heats up an EV battery’s temperature. However, not all models carry this feature.
Do: Cool down or warm up your battery before plugging it in. If you can, park your EV where it’s safe from extreme weather conditions.
Neglecting To Use The EV For An Extended Period
If you are using your EV for your daily commute, then you don’t need to worry about this. But there are instances where you may need to leave your car unused for an extended period. You could be out on vacation for weeks.
Or, like in the case of the past years, EV owners faced this scenario during the pandemic. Driving was limited to essential travel as work transitioned to a remote setup at home.
Why is this an issue? Not using your electric car for a long time can be bad for its battery. Just like how cars with internal combustion engines must regularly run, an EV should be used frequently to avoid prematurely damaging its battery.
Do: Make sure to start your car’s engines regularly even when you’re not going out. Don’t let your car sleep for a long time. As much as possible, maintain the battery power level to 10-20%.
Frequently Choosing Sport Driving
Charging habits are not the only factor that may affect your EV battery’s health. The way you drive also affects the longevity of your electric car battery. Pushing the battery too hard, which can be the case in driving too fast often, may take a toll on your EV battery.
Driving as if running a race also means you spend more power and energy on trips. This in turn means you’d have to charge more times thus exposing your battery to more wear and tear.
A battery’s life naturally decreases over the year. Some camps claim that high EV usage is possible without a direct impact on battery life thanks to improvements in this technology. While this is true, high usage is different from hasty driving.
Like most devices, it is always advantageous in the long run if our electric cars are not subject to much abuse. Despite its reliability and robustness, we can unknowingly chip away at our car’s battery life if we aren’t careful.
We can always make the best use of some of our EV’s features to maintain its battery’s health. Regenerative braking, for example, is one such feature.
Through this process, electricity is converted from the energy of an EV’s engine brake during braking and deceleration. This electricity is then stored in the battery which can extend the range significantly.
Do: Mind your speed and driving habits.
Why Does Our EV’s Battery Health Matter?
With all this discussion regarding maintaining an EV’s battery in good working condition, it reveals just how critical this piece of equipment is to an electric car.
An electric vehicle’s battery is the automobile’s very heart. Without it, your car won’t work. All of your EV’s electrical components–and the computer–won’t be operational if not for the power from the battery.
All of the processes involved in making your car run go by its battery. If you take this component out, you might as well throw your EV because it will be useless. In the same vein, if the battery is damaged, or if it’s not working to its optimal condition, your car’s potential will be hampered.
Monitor Your EV Battery’s Health
We mentioned earlier that charging and driving habits impact your electric car battery’s life. Some of the routine activities we do involve our EVs may not be beneficial to them. It doesn’t hurt to unlearn those habits and adhere to beneficial practices instead if we want our electric car to run for a long time.
Most importantly, EV users, drivers, owners, and prospective buyers should have their cars regularly checked. One of the first and foremost that needs preventive and regular monitoring is the electric vehicle’s battery.
We must be able to tell if our car’s battery is working well or not. On average, a battery will last 10 to 20 years with manufacturers giving an eight-year and 100,000 miles warranty. With these figures alone, you can have an idea of when the battery will give out.
To ensure that your car battery will last up to its intended use, it will help that we spot any problems with the battery itself. Physical indications like leaks, rust or even dings and scratches should be monitored closely and attended to immediately if necessary.
We should also check for the battery’s charge making sure it’s within optimum to safe levels. Be wary of your car’s performance. If it has performance issues, trace the source of the problem.
Should I Charge My EV Every Day?
Charging your electric vehicle (EV) regularly is generally recommended to ensure you have enough battery power for your daily needs. EVs are designed to be charged frequently, and many EV owners develop a routine of charging their vehicles overnight or whenever convenient.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Battery Health: Most modern EVs use lithium-ion batteries, which perform best when kept within a certain state of charge. It is generally advisable to keep your EV battery between 20% and 80% charge level. Frequent charging can help you stay within this optimal range and promote better battery health.
- Daily Driving Needs: Assess your typical daily driving needs and charging availability. If you have a shorter commute or don’t drive long distances regularly, charging every day may not be necessary. However, if you have a long daily commute or anticipate using your EV for longer trips, daily charging is likely beneficial.
- Charging Infrastructure: Consider the availability of charging infrastructure in your area. If you have easy access to charging stations at home, work, or public locations, it becomes more convenient to charge your EV regularly. Take advantage of these charging opportunities to ensure your vehicle is adequately charged whenever you need it.
- Battery Size: The size of your EV’s battery pack also plays a role. Larger battery packs typically offer greater range, allowing you to go longer between charges. Smaller battery packs may require more frequent charging, especially if you need to cover longer distances regularly.
Discover the fascinating details by clicking here to learn more: How to Charge Your Electric Car
How Much Does it Cost to Charge An Electric Car UK?
The cost of charging an electric car in the UK can vary depending on various factors such as the electricity provider, the type of charging station used, and the time of charging. Generally, there are three main types of charging:
- Home Charging: If you charge your electric car at home, the cost will depend on your residential electricity tariff. The average cost of electricity in the UK is around 14p per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Charging an electric car typically requires 10-20 kWh for every 100 miles of driving. So, if we consider an average of 15 kWh per 100 miles, it would cost approximately £2.10 to £4.20 to fully charge an electric car at home.
- Public Charging: Public charging stations can have different pricing structures. Some public charging stations offer free charging, while others may charge a flat fee or a price per kWh. The costs can range from around 10p to 40p per kWh, depending on the provider. Additionally, some charging stations may have a connection fee or parking charges. It’s best to check with the specific charging station provider for accurate pricing information.
- Rapid Charging: Rapid charging stations, also known as fast chargers, can charge an electric car much quicker than standard charging stations. These charging stations are usually found along major highways or at service stations. Rapid charging is often priced per minute or per kWh, with rates varying between providers. The cost can range from 20p to 60p per kWh or have a flat fee of around £6 to £10 for a quick charge.
It’s worth noting that electricity prices can change, and different regions or electricity providers may have different rates. Therefore, it’s important to check with your electricity provider, charging station operator, or online charging networks for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information.
Dive deeper into the topic and expand your knowledge. Read more here: How Much Does It Cost To Charge And Electric Car?
Our electric vehicles are the future of driving. Despite initial apprehensions about the mandate to replace conventional internal combustion engine cars, more are making the switch to EVs. Why not? This alternative to fuel automobiles offers promising benefits.
The most essential advantage of driving these future vehicles is their significantly lower carbon footprint. From ultra-low to zero-emission, EVs are a step towards the right direction. It’s a step closer towards attaining cleaner air in the UK.
Thanks to its power source, the EV battery pack, we can forget about using petrol or diesel-powered vehicles. Say hello to greener driving!
Having learned the basics of keeping our EV batteries running smoothly, we can plan our trips and know when to charge. If you have an electric vehicle or if you’re planning on buying soon, the best way to go is to make sure you have a consistent means to plug in.
Contact us now at Pumpt if you want a safe, reliable, and government-approved charger installed. With a readily available charging station within reach, you can decide whenever you want to top-up and take control of your car, and your EVs battery lifespan.
Protect your hard-earned EV purchase! Learn the best time to charge electric car UK.