Electric car owners urged to take extra care during heatwaves – ‘protects battery life’

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Even simple things such as turning on the air con can reduce the driving range of an EV by 17 percent. This means that anyone planning on making a 100-mile journey during a heatwave might only be able to cover a distance of 83 miles.

This is because EV batteries decline faster when driven in hot temperatures, according to experts.

With that in mind, Moneyshake has put together a list of tips EV owners should follow when mercury rises to unbearable levels.

Leave your car in the shade

According to experts at Moneyshake, high temperatures can decrease the charge of the lithium-ion batteries found in EVs.

Eben Lovatt, Moneyshake CEO, said: “In order to protect your electric car’s battery life this summer, keep it in the shade as long as possible, especially when charging.

“Rapid charging your car at a station without shelter should especially be avoided, as the accelerated electrical currents combined with hot weather can damage your battery in the long term.

“If you are going to charge your EV in the summer, choose a slower charger such as a standard 7kW unit and try to keep the car out of the sun.”

Only charge your EV up to 80 percent

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Electric car batteries are the same type found in electronic devices like laptops and smartphones.

This means that there is an optimum percentage drivers need to bear in mind to avoid overcharging and therefore overheating their EV battery.

Most manufacturers recommend not fully charging EVs, otherwise, the battery can get too hot.

Couple this with high summer temperatures and motorists risk accelerating cell degradation (i.e. when lithium battery cells lose the capacity to charge at their original rate).

In hot weather (and all conditions for that matter) drivers should only charge their electric cars up to a maximum of 80 percent.

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Occasional full charges if motorists are planning to go on a long-distance summer trip are okay but they should not be too frequent.

Mr Lovatt said: “Electric cars require a perception change from drivers when it comes to charging.

“Unlike with a petrol or diesel car where it makes sense to fill the tank to get the most out of your car, EVs have optimum rates of charge that very rarely require you to charge up to 100 percent.”

Use eco-mode while driving

Most electric and hybrid cars have an eco-mode driver setting that increases their efficiency.

It does this by limiting the amount of power the car has for electronic systems and accelerating, for example.

Because the electric car will be using more energy in the heat, making use of this mode – especially on long-haul journeys – will significantly save the EV’s range.

Mr Lovatt said: “Driving on eco-mode will limit some functions of your electric car, but it’s a great way to conserve your battery’s charge which can mean fewer stops on long summer drives.

“It’s important that you and your passengers are comfortable though, especially if you have young children and pets onboard and don’t want them to overheat.”

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