The Do’s & Don’ts of Charging Your EV Battery
EV owners must heed proper maintenance recommendations to keep their vehicles in good condition. EVs require periodic battery charging to maintain power and range. Yet as with any other component, EV batteries can develop serious issues that compromise a vehicle’s performance. This short guide explains EV battery management systems, the causes of battery overheating and the best EV battery charging cable options.
Are You Overcharging Your EV?
Does overcharging an EV’s battery cause any harm? There’s a bit of debate over the issue, with some arguing that overcharging the battery gradually reduces its capacity. However, most models incorporate a battery management system to prevent this problem. Here’s a quick rundown of how an EV’s BMS works:
- The BMS collects operational data for each battery cell.
- The system evaluates the data and adjusts controls to keep the battery within optimal parameters.
- The BMS balances battery operation to ensure the same voltage across both cells.
Checking the Temperature
Although your electric vehicle battery management system stops the battery from overcharging, you should still monitor its health. Its temperature should remain around 21.5 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) to get the best range out of your vehicle.
While overheating isn’t common, it can still occur due to hot weather and pre-existing maintenance issues. Broken fans, thermostat failure or leaking radiators can cause engine cooling problems. Excess heat from the engine could also make the battery overheat. EV battery cooling systems can also fail, leading to possible vehicle shutdown or battery fires.
Fortunately, there are several methods for checking your battery’s temperature. Depending on the vehicle model you drive, you can use a smartphone app to obtain the info you want:
- Scan My Tesla
- Torque Pro
- Car Scanner ELM OBD2
- Leaf Spy
Tips for Charging Your EV Battery
While most EVs have battery management systems to avert overcharging, you should still follow wise practices during charging. These helpful tips can ensure that you get the most out of your vehicle’s power cell:
- Do not charge your battery above 90%. Charging rates slow down after 80%, plus battery longevity may diminish.
- Charge your vehicle in sheltered areas such as your home garage, covered charging stations or underground parking lot charge points.
- Park your vehicle in shaded areas to avoid excess heat exposure.
- Do not allow your battery charge to fall below 10%.
- Avoid overusing the fast charging feature, especially on hot days.
Choosing a high-quality EV battery charging cable can also help maintain your battery’s health and longevity. The Lectron 240 Volt 32 Amps Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger is an excellent example. Equipped with a 21-foot cable, a NEMA 14-50 plug and the J1772 charging protocol, the Lectron 240-V charger supports hybrids and EVs while offering Level 2 charging capacity. It also incorporates shock protection and an LED charging indicator.
Getting the Most From Your Electric Vehicle
Caring for your EV needn’t be stressful, but regular maintenance is vital to getting the best range and performance. Along with monitoring your vehicle’s health, proper charging practices are essential. Search for “AutoZone near me” to find the EV accessories you need.