Welcome to EV ownership
Welcome to EV ownership. Here are some important tips to keep in mind and how to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
So you’ve decided to make the switch from a gas-powered car to an electric vehicle (EV). Congratulations! Welcome to a brand new driving experience.
While it’s easy to reap all of the benefits of an electric vehicle without a second thought (including producing less carbon emissions, less noise pollution and fewer ongoing costs), there are still some tips and tricks that new EV drivers could benefit from learning.
Here, we’ll lay out some important tips that you should keep in mind as a new EV owner and how you can protect your vehicle from unnecessary harm.
1. Protect your EV battery by charging it correctly
One of the features that many new EV drivers have to get used to dealing with is their EV’s lithium-ion battery. These are made of different materials than the lead-acid batteries that are currently used to run gas-powered vehicles. As such, there are different considerations to keep in mind when charging and using your EV.
Monitor the charge of your EV battery
If you own a smartphone, you’ve experienced those days where you push the limit of your phone’s battery life. That same mentality should not be applied to your EV.
EV batteries usually work best when they are moderately charged, somewhere in the range of 30% and 90% of its capacity. This means that constantly keeping your vehicle at a max or in the red will hurt your battery’s lifespan in the long run.
Stop charging your vehicle when it hits 100%
When your EV hits 100% charge, it’s best to unplug it.
Although it could be tempting to keep your vehicle constantly charging before a trip, adding additional charge to a full-powered battery can adversely lessen its battery life instead. Some EV chargers have a timer function that can shut off your charging station before a designated hour. Make sure to use them to keep your battery levels healthy.
Don’t rely on fast charging to get the work done
It’s not uncommon for EV owners to forget to charge your vehicle before a trip — especially when you’re already running late. We’ve all been there!
In those circumstances, you might find that fast charging could help jumpstart your EV battery life. But while fast charging can save you in a snap, it’s not recommended to rely on this method to charge your vehicle every day. Slowly charging your battery is the best way to keep your battery running like new.
High voltage charging can hurt your EV in the long run by straining your battery. Be sure to take note of how powerful the charging station you’re using is, and don’t leave your EV charging for too long.
2. Keep your EV away from extreme temperatures
One of the easiest ways to harm your EV battery is to constantly expose it to extremely high or extremely low temperatures.
This may not be a problem when you live in a location with a moderate climate, but EV owners who live in places that occasionally see snow, heat waves or other variable weather should take special precautions for their vehicle’s longevity.
Even something as simple as parking your EV in the shade during high temperatures or parking it in a garage during cold nights could help protect your vehicle.
3. Plan out your trips in advance
Right now, the US is still building the proper infrastructure to support the massive influx of EVs nationwide. This means installing more and more public EV charging stations. Recently, the US surpassed the 100,000 public charger milestone with more on the way, according to the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center.
It’s always wise to take note of where your closest charging stations are and if you have to make any additional charging stops before going too far out of a familiar area. Use websites like PlugShare to gauge how EV-friendly an area is and plan your trips accordingly.
4. Save money by taking advantage of incentives
Did you know that by purchasing an EV, the US government will offer you tax credits? Depending on where you live, you might be able to get other monetary benefits, like rebates, as well.