Electric Car Battery Life During Inactivity

Electric cars are significantly simpler than those powered by combustion, especially when it comes to their powerful motors. However, their high-voltage batteries cause particular concerns, such as how long an electric automobile can go between charges.

It’s true that automobiles are built for driving, and regular use will keep electric cars running at their peak performance. In some circumstances, you could have to leave your automobile parked for several months.

With the correct planning, an electric car may remain unused in your garage for several months.

That’s possible because the high quality of the battery cells used in automobiles is a world away from the [lithium ion] technology utilized in cell phones and computers.

In truth, electric automobiles are far better equipped to withstand prolonged periods of inactivity than combustion-powered vehicles, whose 12V batteries may lose charge and whose fluids and radiator hoses may deteriorate.

However, if you truly want to treat your electric car well, charge it to between 20 and 50 percent and avoid leaving it outside in the sun for extended periods. When it is time to drive it again, it will be prepared to go instantly.

How Long Can an Electric Car Battery Stand Without Charging?

Even while driving isn’t always required, maintaining your automobile is still crucial. It is essential to check that the battery is fully charged and to understand what percentages are ideal for your battery to remain at for prolonged periods. How long can an electric vehicle run without being charged?

An electric vehicle can be left uncharged for months. This is only possible if the battery is charged to the proper level, which for most electric cars is usually around 50%. It may seem preferable to charge the automobile to 100% if it will only hang around for a short period, but this is not the case. 

Long durations of full charge cause the battery cells in electric car batteries to deteriorate. This also holds true if the battery is kept at a low percentage for an extended period. When the battery is less than 20% charged, it is advised against leaving the automobile parked.

It’s crucial to consider the weather your electric car will be in if it has to spend some time in the garage. Batteries’ overall capacity diminishes when subjected to extremely high temperatures, and this issue cannot be solved.

So it is recommended to park your electric car in the shade and out of the sun if you don’t have a garage and live in a warm environment. It is vital to drive it whenever possible since batteries in all kinds of vehicles, including electric vehicles, tend to deteriorate more quickly when not in use.

Ideal Battery Charge for Storage

In essence, if the battery is completely charged, an electric automobile may sit for months. Next, the vehicle may be placed in “Deep Sleep” mode (if equipped). Although the charge loss from electric cars when parked is small, it may pile up over time.

According to Green Car Reports, you should charge your battery to at least 80% before storing the vehicle.

However, all EV authorities concur that the car must have at least 50% of its battery when it is put into storage. Surprisingly, nobody suggests charging it entirely at full capacity.

The battery might be damaged if it is fully charged and left for an extended time. So the best course of action is to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations and keep it between 50 and 80 percent.

Contrary to popular belief, when storing an electric device such as a cell phone, while it makes sense to store it fully charged, the same cannot be said for an electric car’s battery.

According to experts, keeping the battery completely charged for a prolonged time is not advised. In fact, it could hasten the deterioration of battery cells.

Before leaving your automobile parked for a lengthy time, it is preferable to charge the battery to no more than 50%. It is important not to let the battery be discharged either to ensure that the little 12V battery that operates the car’s many gadgets can be routinely recharged.

Ideal Temperature for Electric Car Battery Storage

Manufacturers advise maintaining your battery’s temperature below 110 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid damage. To park in the shade, even in hot regions, aim for 100 degrees or less when stationary.

The stagnant air under your automobile may easily reach temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit if it is parked in the sun due to the combination of the blacktop and the persistent sun.

The charging pace of an EV battery is significantly impacted by temperature, which frequently falls well below zero degrees. Depending on the car type, an EV battery operates best at a temperature of 20 to 40 degrees. However, this can be challenging to maintain in the cold.

Both the charging rate and the range will be impacted if the temperature is lower than this. This is because when the temperature lowers, the electrochemical reactions in the battery become slower.

Many people leave their cars in unheated garages or on the street, which causes the battery temperature to match the ambient temperature. The EV must therefore expend a significant amount of energy to reheat the battery.

An EV battery often won’t achieve the proper operating temperature on a typical drive-in zero-degree day. As a result, some of the charger’s power is used to heat the battery rather than charge it when you want to charge your car.

So, when you go to the charging station, charging takes longer. The battery will have achieved operational temperature after a while of fast charging. Thus, the range should be improved, and you may fast charge at the anticipated pace the following time.

Where to Store Your Electric Vehicle?

Hot weather is the one thing lithium-ion batteries do not enjoy. When temperatures rise over 40 degrees, a minor but permanent reduction of the battery’s overall capacity occurs.

However, this capacity reduction is hardly noticeable. The batteries are generally worn down by cycles of charging and draining. Just as you would with any vehicle, keep your electric car in an area shielded from the sun and intense heat.

Last but not least, just as with any vehicle, it is important sometimes to drive an electric car forward or backward by a foot or two to prevent flat tire spots.

Conserve Battery Power when Parked

Knowing whether your electric car will be ready for you to drive if you plan to leave it parked in case you do not have time for a charge is useful. Do electric cars deplete their charge while parked then?

When parked, electric vehicles do lose charge. The loss of battery power is negligible, and you can even alter a few settings on your automobile to do so.

If your electric car is sitting idle, you might wonder how the battery is depleting. The batteries continually power other components in the automobile, which is why it loses battery life even if it is not driving.

Deep Sleep Feature

Some electric vehicles have technology that detects when the car is not in use. When this is understood, the vehicle will put some energy into reserves rather than wasting it on pointless functions. See the user handbook to find out if your automobile has these features.

Preset Features

Some electric vehicles will have some functions pre-activated for your convenience. These settings depend on the weather. They enable your car to warm up or cool down inside for comfort.

However, they are truly unneeded if you are on vacation and won’t be driving for a few weeks. You ensure that you are conserving battery life, be sure to deactivate these functions.

Power Save Mode

Although the option may not be termed “Power Save,” most electric vehicles offer something like it. It could be referred to as “Energy Saving” or something like that. You may reduce the electricity your automobile needs while not in use by turning on this setting.

Tips to Extend Electric Car Battery Life

The trick to keeping your electric car parked for extended periods without impacting the battery is to take the necessary precautions.

The following are some ways to maintain your electric car’s battery in the US, even when it is parked away for extended periods.

When Parked, Reduce Exposure to Very Hot Temperatures

An automatic temperature control system placed in your electric car may unnecessarily drain your batteries to maintain low temperatures for maximum efficiency.

While this functionality should only be utilized when your electric car in the United States is on the road and using its battery, you should park it in the shade or plug it in so that its thermal management system only uses grid power. You should also ensure a stable range of temperatures while operating.

Control the Ideal Battery Charge Level for Extended Storage

Electric vehicles’ batteries deteriorate while they are parked or stored, whether they are full or empty. Get a timed charger and plug it in if you don’t use your electric car much or have planned a long journey.

When you park your car at full charge for an extended length of time, the battery will struggle to maintain its level of charge while you are gone. One tactic is to adjust the charger so that the charge stays between 25% and 75% of its average level, slightly over the low mark, and not filled to full.

Electric Car Battery Life During Inactivity
Electric Car Battery Life During Inactivity

Do Not Use Quick Charging

Using a quick charger is quite convenient if your batteries are about to run out. But since it pumps so much power into the cells quickly, your EV battery is strained and dries up more quickly.

Even if it is difficult to see, eight years of regular charging will result in a 10% longer battery life than eight years of rapid charging.

Reduce the Number of Batteries at Full Charge

A battery management system that prevents charging and discharging at the extreme charge level is already built into electric automobiles. The performance of the battery life of your car is improved by maintaining the battery charge between 0% and 100%.

While a full charge will provide you with the longest possible running time, it is never a good idea for the battery’s overall longevity.

So, what happens if an electric car runs out of power now that we know that leaving a battery fully charged for extended periods may seriously harm it?

Like any battery-powered device, an electric automobile will cease functioning after depleting its charge. The sole requirements are finding a charging station and ensuring the battery doesn’t run out frequently or ever.

Hopefully, you can put a dead battery in at home to recharge it if you arrive home to find one. You’ll need to contact a flatbed tow truck to remove it if you don’t have access to a charging station. The wheels should not tow an electric vehicle since this might harm the motor.

By letting the battery entirely drain, you risk damaging the battery cells, hastening the battery’s wear-out and eventual replacement. This results in increased costs for a situation that might have been avoided.

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