Like all batteries, the ones in your electric vehicle (EV) will lose a small amount of health over time.
Electric car batteries will usually last a very long time (it can be up to 20 years before they need replacing), but there are some things you can do to keep your battery healthy and in good shape.
Tips to keep your electric car’s battery healthy
While some degradation in your EV’s battery health is normal over time, it’s a good idea to adopt some habits to minimise these effects.
Manufacturers have a lot of faith in the lifespan of their batteries, with most warranties extending up to eight years or 100,000 miles, so you shouldn’t need to worry about any noticeable decline in battery health for some time.
1. Stick between 20%-80% charge
It’s recommended that you never let your EV run flat or under 20% or charge it past 80%, unless you really need to.
This is usually enough range for your daily trips, so you might want to consider changing the settings on your car or charger to keep the battery inside that 20-80% sweet spot.
2. Only charge up completely for long trips
If you know you’re heading off on a long road trip, this is one of the only times you should be charging to 100%.
Boosting your battery all the way up doesn't impact battery health, but consistently keeping it full isn’t the best idea.
You should aim to plan your trips ahead of time and work out how much charge you’ll need to avoid pushing your battery to full too frequently.
3. Slow charge when you can
Rapid chargers are great and really convenient, but they’re not the best for battery health if you use them regularly.
Try and only use rapid chargers when you need a quick boost, and rely on slower chargers for most of your charging.
4. Give your EV a run regularly
Like fuel-powered cars, EVs need running regularly to keep in tip-top shape.
Taking your car out for short, regular trips will help keep your battery healthy, and helps avoid other issues like flat spots on tyres from being parked in one spot for too long.
How long does an EV battery last?
The lifespan of an electric car battery can be as long as 20 years – that's a lot of time to get a really good run.
Even if you’re purchasing a used EV, you shouldn’t need to worry about replacing the battery anytime soon.
Can you overcharge an EV battery?
Modern electric vehicles are equipped with technology that prevents overcharging, slowing down the charge as they get towards a full state.
Once the battery reaches 100%, it will switch into a ‘trickle charge’ that will keep it full once some discharging has occurred. This happens as some functions in the car will continue to run, even when the car is turned off.
What if I leave my battery on charge for too long?
If you leave your car on charge for a longer period of time than it needs, the battery system will make sure that overcharging doesn’t happen.
It’s not great for battery health to continually charge up to 100%, but it won’t usually cause enough damage to stress about.
It’s recommended that to maintain battery health and prevent degradation, you try and only charge to 100% when really needed.
Should you leave your EV plugged in all the time?
You should try and avoid leaving your EV plugged in all the time, as this isn’t best practice for battery health.
It’s fine to leave your car plugged in overnight for a full charge when you need it, but leaving your car plugged in for longer than it needs may contribute to battery degradation.
Try and plug in only when you really need to, keeping charge above 20% but below 80%, unless you know you’ll be making a longer trip.