Charging hints & tips
With our hints and tips you will become a charging hero!
Charging is fastest between 20% - 80%
The first 20% of charging can take just as long as charging from 20% to 80%. The same goes for the last 20% from 80% to 100%.
Leave as soon as possible after charging
Of course, this is social; you don’t leave a fuel car at the pump unnecessarily long either. Moreover, we want to avoid having to introduce so-called “ïdle charges”. A kind of parking fee that you will automatically pay if the car is parked at a charger unnecessarily after charging has stopped.
Your battery is happiest between 20% - 80%
It is wise to keep your battery’s state of charge somewhere between 20 and 80 percent. This is because the chemical structure of a lithium battery is subject to degeneration over time. In a battery that is typically between 20 and 80 percent charge state, the chemical structure remains healthy longer than a battery that is often completely full or completely dead for long periods of time.
The impact of temperature
The cell of a lithium battery can handle fairly extreme temperatures, but it does become more vulnerable to misuse. When you buy your car, ask if the battery has active liquid cooling or not.
Tesla’s always have that, some less expensive models do not. That means that you can still hook up a Tesla to a fast charger at 40 degrees Celsius, but it’s better to charge a Nissan Leaf more slowly then. This is because fast charging generates a lot of heat, which can cause the cells to reach too high a temperature. In the other direction, the same applies: a lithium battery that has slept all night in the freezing cold is best not simply hung on a high-power fast charger in the morning.
The smarter batteries can handle this because they will automatically limit their charging power and actively warm up the battery during charging. Again, it’s best to inform yourself: does the car have an active battery heater? Will it automatically limit fast charging when the battery is cold?
The health of your battery is monitored by the BMS (Battery Management System). This BMS works with a combination of data from sensors and calculated guesswork. If you often charge your battery in the middle part of the charge range (so you keep them between 20 and 80 percent as described in point 1), after a while the BMS won’t know where exactly the 0 and 100 percent are.
It can then help to confront them with the extremes for a while. You then drive the car as empty as possible – but stay away from the 0 percent, because the BMS can make a mistake – and then charge them on a regular charger (i.e. not fast charging) to 100 percent. Then drive them empty one more time, and then return to your daily routine.
By doing this once a year, your BMS knows better how your battery is doing. But remember: never leave the battery completely empty or completely full for long periods of time.
Try to avoid fast charging often.
Batteries with only air cooling cannot draw in enough cool air at high ambient temperatures to keep the cells at an optimal temperature. This causes them to degenerate faster and lose storage capacity.
How to increase your range
Heat or cool your car while it is charging. You then use the charging current for this instead of the current from your battery. This way, you will have more energy left for driving and the battery pack will already be at the optimal working temperature before departure.
Use directional heating or seat heating rather than the cabin heater
Take full advantage of regenerative braking. When you take your foot off the pedal, the car brakes automatically and uses the energy released in the process to recharge the battery. If you are smart with this technique, you can get farther on one battery charge and the brakes wear out less quickly.
The difference in consumption between, say, 120 km/h and 130 km/h is as much as 20%! So rather try to drive a little slower. It makes almost no difference in travel time, but it makes a huge difference in consumption. When driving long distances, a slower speed gets you to your destination sooner because you don’t have to recharge as often.
Check tire pressure regularly. Full tires are not only important for your safety, but also reduce resistance on the road. And that in turn benefits your range!
This tip may seem obvious, but getting the most out of your range actually starts with knowing your electric car perfectly.
Don’t use your car as a storage place; take out stuff you don’t need. Every unnecessarily full crate or unused high chair means extra weight and a reduced range. Also, if you have a roof box, only use it when you need it. This adds a lot of unnecessary drag and reduces overall range.