Smartphone manufacturers have created something of a “battery awareness syndrome” in the minds of consumers. We’ll use Apple as our example: not only do they have an Optimized Battery Charging setting, but they also recommend you never let your battery fully drain. Or never fully charge. Or stay around 80%.
Sound confusing? As the recommendations seem to be less than clear, it’s also caused concerns in other industries, namely for electric vehicle owners. Today, we want to address the question of whether you should charge your electric car every night.
Battery basics 101
How many AA batteries have you thrown away throughout your life? Environmental impact aside, all batteries are consumable. You probably have had to replace the battery in your gasoline-powered vehicle before, seeing what’s called a “core charge” on your receipt. This is to encourage consumers to return them so that those types of batteries don’t end up in a landfill like their smaller brethren.
Lithium-ion batteries are no different. Over time, their maximum capacity degrades. This is why contrary to popular belief, your two-year-old smartphone doesn’t hold a charge like it did when you first purchased it.
What is optimized charging?
Optimized charging is the smartphone manufacturer’s solution to extending battery life. The more a phone is charged to 100%, the smaller the maximum capacity that battery has. Overnight, your phone will charge to 100%, stop charging, drain some, and then recharge back to 100%. This is to ensure it has a full charge when you wake up but at the risk of slowly eating away at your maximum capacity.
Optimized charging “holds” the charge back to 80%, pausing your charging once it hits that percentage. Then, a few hours before you normally get up, it finishes the charge.
Should I charge my electric car to 100%?
Does this mean that your electric vehicle should never hit 100% charge? As these are also lithium-ion units, does the same principle apply to your electric car and truck as it does to your smartphone?
Generally speaking, most experts agree: the same principle applies. The extreme ends of the charging spectrum — 0% and 100% — tend to degrade your electric car battery just as it does your smartphone. While some manufacturers have warranties to ease your mind, there are some steps you can take.
Should I charge my electric vehicle nightly?
Namely, never leave your car in a state of constant charging. If you don’t plan to leave your home for a day or two, then don’t charge your car battery every night.
Likewise, you’ll want to install an electric vehicle charger that has a similar type of “optimized charging” as we described above. Together, these two steps can help prolong the life of your electric vehicle battery.
Choosing the right kind of electric vehicle charger
There are two primary types of electric car chargers: the aptly named Level One and Level Two EV chargers. Each has its pros and cons, and we’ll work with homeowners and businesses alike to help them decide which is best for them.
Ready to get started? Then contact the team at Yoder Electric to find out what type of charger you need for your property by calling us at 614-206-5401 or sending us a message HERE.