GB News guests debate using electric cars
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Motoring experts have warned EV drivers that their cars are at a bigger risk of damage in extreme temperatures. The heat can affect anything from the battery to the tyres. Drivers have therefore been urged to keep their cars in the shade as much as they can.
The biggest risk when it comes to EVs during a heatwave is the battery.
Experts at Moneyshake warned that drivers should only charge their battery to 80 percent to avoid overcharging.
The range of an EV can also decrease by as much as 17 percent.
With that in mind, the experts have put together a list of tips EV owners should follow when mercury rises to unbearable levels.
Leave your car in the shade
According to experts at Moneyshake, high temperatures can decrease the charge of the lithium-ion batteries found in EVs.
Eben Lovatt, Moneyshake CEO, said: “In order to protect your electric car’s battery life this summer, keep it in the shade as long as possible, especially when charging.
“Rapid charging your car at a station without shelter should especially be avoided, as the accelerated electrical currents combined with hot weather can damage your battery in the long term.
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“If you are going to charge your EV in the summer, choose a slower charger such as a standard 7kW unit and try to keep the car out of the sun.”
Only charge your EV up to 80 percent
Electric car batteries are the same type found in electronic devices like laptops and smartphones.
This means that there is an optimum percentage drivers need to bear in mind to avoid overcharging and therefore overheating their EV battery.
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Most manufacturers recommend not fully charging EVs, otherwise, the battery can get too hot.
Couple this with high summer temperatures and motorists risk accelerating cell degradation (i.e. when lithium battery cells lose the capacity to charge at their original rate).
In hot weather (and all conditions for that matter) drivers should only charge their electric cars up to a maximum of 80 percent.
Occasional full charges if motorists are planning to go on a long-distance summer trip are okay but they should not be too frequent.
Mr Lovatt said: “Electric cars require a perception change from drivers when it comes to charging.
“Unlike with a petrol or diesel car where it makes sense to fill the tank to get the most out of your car, EVs have optimum rates of charge that very rarely require you to charge up to 100 percent.
“In fact, you can prolong your battery’s lifespan by limiting the number of times you charge your EV fully.
“Modern electric cars and chargers often come with smart features that let you limit your charge, so we recommend making use of them when you plug in overnight.”
Use eco-mode while driving
Most electric and hybrid cars have an eco-mode driver setting that increases their efficiency.
It does this by limiting the amount of power the car has for electronic systems and accelerating, for example.
Because the electric car will be using more energy in the heat, making use of this mode – especially on long-haul journeys – will significantly save the EV’s range.
Mr Lovatt said: “Driving on eco-mode will limit some functions of your electric car, but it’s a great way to conserve your battery’s charge which can mean fewer stops on long summer drives.
“It’s important that you and your passengers are comfortable though, especially if you have young children and pets onboard and don’t want them to overheat.”
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