Most electric car owners or enthusiasts often ask how frequently an electric car should be charged. On average, most people charge their EVs two or three times a week but there is no specific answer because your situation plays a vital role. This article gives you tips and explains the factors that determine your charging frequency.
Is every night charging recommended?
The answer is no. Plugging in your vehicle repeatedly for long periods or overnight could lead to battery degradation, which means the battery’s durability and performance will deteriorate.
Consider this scenario if you need more clarification about charging every night.
On average, a driver covers about 30 miles daily; meanwhile, many electric cars can run 200 miles or more on a full charge. There is no need to charge your EVs every night because a full battery can easily last for a few days. You might have to charge twice or more a week in some cases.
Does frequent charging damage an EV battery?
Charging an electric vehicle way too frequently can damage the EV battery’s efficiency. Indeed, depending on how many charging cycles are utilized during the battery’s lifetime, performance and durability might decrease. Charging less often will extend the battery’s lifetime.
It is also recommended to not frequently charge an EV to 100% to increase the battery’s longevity. Here is a recommendation on what to do instead.
Complete charging or top-up?
Are you aware of the 80% rule? You should charge your EV to 80% because the charging time slows as it gets closer to 100%.
Research shows that the time it takes an EV to charge from 20% to 80% is almost the same as the time it takes to charge from 80% to 100% because the battery’s design is for maximum longevity.
Frequent charging to 100% will stress your battery and could damage it in the long run. Keep your car from going below 20% as much as possible to maximize your battery’s longevity.
Another critical factor that could contribute to battery damage is the continuous use of fast chargers.
What are DC fast chargers?
DC fast chargers use direct current to charge the battery rapidly in minutes instead of hours. They supply the battery with high voltage without conversion.
The continuous use of a DC charger is dangerous because its high current results in high temperatures or thermal issues. Research shows that high-temperature damages and reduces the battery life cycle. If you must use DC fast chargers, it should be once in a while to avoid damaging or diminishing your battery in the long run.
Meanwhile, some factors can increase your charging periods. Let us consider the factors that will make you recharge more often your vehicle.
Factors affecting how often you should recharge your car
1. The weight of your car
The weight of your car could increase or decrease the number of times you recharge your vehicle in a week. If you are fond of hauling heavy loads in your truck, it will drain your car battery quickly, leading to frequent charging.
Housing full-capacity passengers in your car could also contribute to frequent charging as well.
2. Change in temperature
You might have to recharge your car more often during cold weather.
Do you remember that feeling of not wanting to get up from bed on a cold morning? Electric cars are like that too. Your car battery uses energy to heat itself and power during cold weather, draining your car battery faster.
During winter, roads become slippery, making your EV work harder to maintain traction using more power. You may have to recharge up to three or four times weekly during winter or cold days.
3. Where and how you drive
Some days you will experience heavy traffic if you live in the city. When you are stuck in traffic, your battery drains quickly, and you will need to recharge more.
What about when you visit mountainous or hilly areas? Your car will use more power, draining your battery.
Most drivers often use features like heated seats or air conditioning, which consume power. Imagine a driver plugs in about five electronics in his car. It will use more energy and increase your charging times. Plugging in fewer accessories in your car will use less energy and reduces the charging period.
4. Ensure a like-for-like tire replacement
If you need to replace your tires, it should be a like-for-like replacement because most EVs are heavier than gas cars which is why their tires are great for heavy loads. If you replace your tires with weak ones, you will be overworking your battery and need to recharge more often.
5. Battery size
If your vehicle has a small battery, you may need to recharge more than when you have a bigger one.
How often you recharge your car depends on where and how you drive, the type of tires you have, the weather condition, charger types, and sometimes your car’s battery size and weight.