Electric vehicles are gradually becoming part of our daily lives. Everyone knew the day would come when electric vehicles would go from novelty to a ubiquitous form of transportation, but no one thought it would happen so quickly. The proliferation of electric vehicles is bringing new problems that owners have to deal with.
Electric vehicles may not require as much routine maintenance as a gas-powered car, but there are still a few issues to consider. One of the main ones is battery life and how you can extend it. But how do you check the battery life of your EV?
Why check the battery life of your electric vehicle?
Electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries degrade over time. This is one of the disadvantages of an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline car. While a gas-powered vehicle can be maintained with routine maintenance of relatively cheap interchangeable parts, electric vehicles are essentially disposable once the battery is depleted. It’s akin to your vehicle’s engine suddenly timing out. This can be particularly problematic for super-expensive high-performance electric vehicles.
This will be less of an issue as battery technology advances, especially with advances in battery recycling technology. But, in the meantime, it’s super important to check the health of your battery. It is also necessary to adopt good habits that will prolong the life of your EV battery. Constant use of DC fast chargers may not completely destroy your battery, but it is healthier for the vehicle to charge slowly and stop charging before reaching a full state of charge.
The best way to charge your electric vehicle is to trickle charge overnight with the standard 120V L1 charger. This ensures that the battery does not reach a full state of charge (which lithium-ion batteries do not like) and also charges the battery slowly, preventing the battery from heating up.
How to Check Your Tesla’s Battery Health
One of the easiest ways to monitor the health of your Tesla’s battery is to check the total range available when your battery is fully charged. Over time, the total range will decrease, which is normal for a battery after years of use. But, if your range has drastically reduced, there is probably something wrong with your battery.
That’s why you need a baseline range figure to compare to the numbers you’ll continue to see over time as the battery drains. Otherwise, you are in the dark about your battery health. You can also write down basic numbers for how long your Tesla takes to fully charge using variable speed chargers. This is very important as it informs you if your battery can charge properly within the standard time.
Some apps can monitor your Tesla’s battery status.
For example, Tessie gives you access to useful information about your Tesla’s battery, such as the percentage of degradation and battery status. The app also measures your battery count against other Teslas similar to yours to give you an idea of your battery health.
How to check the battery status of your Hyundai EV
The process for monitoring the battery health of your Hyundai EV is basically the same as with a Tesla. The most important thing you want to monitor is the total range you get from your vehicle and pay attention to any significant degradation in that number over time. It’s also important to monitor how long it takes to charge your EV to a certain charge percentage. If this number is erratic under ideal conditions, you need to check what is wrong with the battery.
Also, be careful not to charge your electric vehicle in sub-freezing conditions unless you have a battery charging system that communicates with the vehicle and adjusts the charging current based on variables such as temperature. Charging your electric vehicle in below freezing conditions without taking proper precautions could permanently damage the battery.
Hyundai also offers their MyHyundai with BlueLink app, which can display your vehicle’s remaining range and total remaining battery charge. You can even manage your EV charging schedule on the app. The BlueLink app is another good tool you can use to monitor the total range your battery is capable of producing after a full charge.
How to Monitor Your Nissan Leaf EV Battery
The Nissan Leaf actually has one of the best (if not the best) OBD2 apps for monitoring its battery status. The Leaf Spy Pro is a paid application that allows you to monitor advanced battery statistics that usually only the dealer would have access to. This means you get access to the same advanced statistics as a dealer scanner for a fraction of the price.
The Leaf Spy Pro app allows you to monitor battery life and access more advanced statistics such as the output of battery temperature sensors. Using the Leaf Spy app, you can even monitor the remaining kWh (essentially the total power capacity your battery can produce), which is useful because you can keep tabs on how that number varies in different climates around the world. over the life of the vehicle. This is particularly nice to have because the available kWh is not the same at all times, even if your battery is fully charged.
In different weather conditions, your fully charged battery will have a varying total kWh, and that’s something your vehicle’s display won’t tell you. For example, you will only see that you are 100% charged, but you cannot check whether it is 100% of the battery’s full capacity in kWh or 100% of reduced capacity due to severe weather.
The app also offers advanced stats such as health status and amp-hours, as well as battery voltage. As you can see, Leaf Spy Pro is essential if you have a Nissan Leaf and is much more comprehensive than anything available from most other manufacturers.
Monitoring your EV battery will save you money
Not only will a healthy battery save you money in maintenance costs, it will also help you when it comes time to sell your EV. When you sell a regular car, the potential buyer usually inspects the vehicle’s maintenance history.
In the case of electric vehicles, the most important thing to inspect will be the health of the battery; thus, keeping it in pristine condition is of utmost importance. The tips in this article are a great way to start caring for your electric vehicle’s battery.