Expert Shares How to Maximize Value from EV Batteries

If you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle in the near future, it is important that you learn how to take care of your vehicle’s battery. Unlike conventional cars that are powered by internal combustion engines, zero-emission electric cars run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Nickel-manganese cobalt batteries are also gaining popularity.

Taking care of your EV’s battery will be integral to maximizing your range and increasing the vehicle’s lifetime. According to Qichao Hu, an MIT and Harvard alumn who founded battery-research firm SES, most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries. He has been studying batteries since President Barack Obama was in office, and he currently drives the Tesla Model 3, which uses nickel-free, lithium-iron phosphate batteries.

These batteries are less costly and safer, and have long battery lives, Hu notes. On the other hand, premium EVs such as Porsche and Cadillac use high-nickel chemistries that are more expensive. Regardless of the type of battery your electric car runs on, you can use the following tips to extend battery life and maximize value:

Smart charging. Hu advises against charging your EV to 100% or letting it get below 10%. Basically, he says, you don’t want to overcharge or let your EV become completely depleted. Make sure your battery power levels don’t dip below 10% or go over 90%.

Be aware of weather conditions. Did you know that extreme weather can impact your battery life?  According to Hu, charging your EV outside when temperatures take a dip can actually damage your battery and reduce its lifespan. He advises new electric vehicle drivers to drive their EVs around to warm them up before charging instead of plugging them into a charger while they are still cold.

Keep an eye on your driving habits. Note that how you drive your EV will affect its battery life, Hu says. For instance, your range will be drastically reduced if you drive fast in cold weather. High power coupled with low temperature has a negative effect on battery capacity, he says, noting that increasing his Model 3’s speed from 70 to 80 miles per hour can cut the car’s range from 300 miles down to 180 miles.

You can deal with this by anticipating the reduction in driving range when temperatures drop as well as driving slowly in cold weather.

You won’t have to charge your EV every day either. Since Americans travel around 260 miles per week on average, an average EV with 200 miles of range can last an entire work week with just two sessions of charging. With EVs from entities such as Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) coming with longer estimated range, it is just a matter of time before range anxiety is a thing of the past.

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