Giving EV battery the treatment it deserves

BERLIN: Batteries are a vital element in the performance of an electric car, and they need a little looking after. That's a bit of a balancing act because, if possible, EV batteries should never be completely drained, but they should not be fully charged either.

Experts from Germany's Auto Club Europa (ACE) say that the ideal way to ensure a long battery life is to always stop charging at 80%. In everyday life, of course, this works best for people who only use their e-car for shorter distances.

As a rule, the length of the charging process can be precisely set directly in the car or via an app. Most EVs have a charging timer that helps to conserve battery power.

If you do need 100% of the range for a long distance journey, the ACE recommends starting driving as soon as possible after you have fully charged the battery.

If you aren't using your electric car for several days, make sure that the battery is sufficiently charged as it will discharge itself over time. If you drive off with an almost completely drained battery, you risk a so-called deep discharge, which will cause long-term damage. If you are parking your e-car for a longer period of time, it's best to leave it with a medium charge of around 50 to 60%.

The ACE says you should avoid charging stations and ultra-fast charging where possible. These systems use direct current (DC), and while this allows you to charge faster than when using alternating current (AC), AC is easier on the battery.

Emergency charging cables charge the battery gently and slowly. However, because of the high charging losses, these cables should only be used if there's no alternative.

When on the road, driving at a steady pace can contribute to a longer battery life. According to the ACE, heavy acceleration and longer journeys at full throttle put a strain on the battery.

Batteries also don't like extreme temperatures. On hot days, it therefore makes sense to park your EV in the shade or in the garage. In winter, you should also park the car indoors if possible. On cold days, always charge the battery indoors - preferably directly after the drive, when it is still warm.
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