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How to maximise battery service life

21/01/21

There are both many myths about and a good deal of research into ways of maximising the service life of our batteries. According to Evelina Wikner, a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, there’s a lot we can do ourselves to enhance the service life of the batteries in our electric cars. We have summarised some of the key points of her research.

Just maximise the charge when you need it

Wikner’s research indicates that there are advantages in retaining the state of charge of electric car batteries at below 40% of their maximum capacity. By only using part of the battery’s capacity, we can extend its service life. But this needs to be done in a common-sense manner and is most suitable for those who rarely drive their cars or mostly do short journeys. It’s also easier, of course, to follow this recommendation if you have a charging station at home.

Consider the temperature

The temperature has an impact on the ageing of an electric car battery and 25–30°C is the optimum temperature for an electric car battery when in use. If the temperature is higher or lower than that, it can have negative effects on the battery. Those living in a country that isn’t known for providing a temperature of 25–30°C all year round will need to make adjustments to suit the prevailing circumstances in their country. From that perspective, it’s also encouraging to note that Wikner’s research shows that batteries benefit from being stored at lower temperatures when not in use.

Charging close to departure

According to Wikner’s research, there’s no point in leaving the car fully charged for a long time waiting to be used. If you are able to plan, it’s best to charge the battery the evening before setting off. The battery will then last longer. Fortunately many charging stations can help with such planning.

In conclusion

The research generally shows that frequent charging is good, but you should try to avoid having a fully charged or fully discharged battery, if at all possible. It’s best to charge frequently and as often as required for the journeys you anticipate making. This is a key argument in terms of it being necessary to expand the charging infrastructure, and also an important argument in favour of the need for effective charging stations, both at home and at work.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about how to optimise your charging!