Should I Top Up My EV Battery Every Day? Everything You Need To Know

If you have an EV charger at home or at work it can be incredibly useful and it can be hard to resist the temptation to just plug it in. But is that best for your car? Keep reading to learn how to reduce the deteriorating of your battery.

Why Do People Charge Their EV Daily?

A main reason for hooking up your car to a charger is convenience. With more than 42,000 charging points across the U.K. between home, workplace, destination, and on street solutions, it’s not challenging to find a way to charge your car.

Range anxiety can play a factor in people topping up their EV’s. This can discourage people from making the switch to electric. Given that the average driver in the U.K. drives 7,400 miles a year, these concerns don’t have too much merit. This is because it comes out to around 140 miles per week and even supermini’s such as the Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf can drive 245 or 239 miles respectively on a single charge. Ample for a week's commute.

Of course, if you travel a longer distance for work this might not be enough for your week's commute. There is the Jaguar i-Pace with an incredible 292 mile WLTP range.

Should you Charge your Battery Every Day?

The short answer is no. You should not charge your battery every day. Constantly hooking up your car to a charger will shorten the lifespan of the battery. The safest bet would be to follow the battery charging guidelines set out in the car's user manual.

Charging Cycles Degrade Batteries

Whilst the lithium-ion battery packs in electric cars constantly advance at a breakneck pace, repeatedly charging and discharging results in the degrading of EV batteries over time.

Geotab did a study on 6000 electric car’s battery deterioration and found that it will deteriorate at around 2.3% per year on average. This means if you bought a new Zoe today its 245-mile range would be reduced to around 189 miles after 10 years. Still far more than the average number of miles driven each week.

One of the main ways to prolong the life of your battery is to reduce the number of charging cycles your EV goes through. Don’t worry about plugging in each time you are near a charger. No matter if you are topping up your battery from 70% or when it is nearly empty, it still puts strain on the battery.

It’s best to stay familiar with the distance you’ll need to drive with your car on a day to day basis and try to save hooking your EV up to a charger when you won’t have enough charge for your journey.

Always charging to 100% isn’t the best idea

Research from the University of Michigan has also studied the deterioration of electric batteries. They determined that having your battery sit at 0% or at 100% can put a strain on the battery and it would be best to minimise the time it spends there. The extremely high or low state of charge can reduce the lifespan of the battery.

Many modern EV chargers automatically shut off once the battery reaches full charge. Ideally, it is best to keep your battery between 30 & 80% charge.

Other findings in this study included parking your car in a shaded area on sunny days and that you shouldn’t leave your EV parked longer than two weeks if the battery is below 20%.

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