As an electric car driver, it is quite legitimate to wonder whether it is a good idea or not to charge your electric car every day. But, there is no simple answer to this question. Charging frequency is mainly linked to a number of criteria such as use and range. Basically, it comes down to battery capacity. For better understanding, find out more about the ideal charging option for your electric car!
How often should you charge your electric vehicle?
The charging frequency depends on how you use your electric car. To assess the rhythm of charges, you should consider the following factors:
1. Vehicle use
For everyday urban journeys of less than 30 km, it’s not necessary to charge your car every day. However, if you use your vehicle for long journeys (going on holiday or away for the weekend, etc.), you should plan several daily charges.
This varies depending on the make and model, from 100 to 600 km for the most powerful version of the battery.
3. Battery composition
Most electric cars are fitted with a lithium-ion battery. This will last between 1000 and 1500 charging cycles (the equivalent of over 10 years’ use). Being sensitive to extreme temperatures, the lithium-ion battery is also, relatively sensitive to systematic 100% charging.
Is charging your car to 100% necessarily detrimental to battery efficiency or is this a stereotype?
It’s true that lithium-ion batteries don’t appreciate systematic 100% charging, but a battery is a relatively complex object. It is made up of materials whose composition varies from one technology to another: lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, copper, aluminium, graphite, etc. All these elements have unique properties.
Is charging to 100% risky for the battery in my electric car? Charging beyond 80% is not necessarily bad for the battery. Other factors exert a greater influence on its ageing.
Other behaviours exert a much greater influence on the wear and tear of your battery, such as the type of chargepoint used on a daily basis, driving behaviour, storage and weather conditions.
Can you leave your battery charging all night long?
If you charge your electric car at home, it may be common to leave the battery charging overnight. If this is the case, don’t panic, it is possible to leave it plugged in until the morning. Most electric vehicles have systems that automatically switch off charging once the battery is 100% charged*.
You can also save money by charging at night! You can benefit from off-peak rates, by choosing an appropriate electricity contract.
In reality, a battery is never really fully charged. Electric car manufacturers systematically restrict the amount of battery capacity in order to virtually increase their lifespan.
When should you charge your electric car with regard to its energy consumption?
A number of factors can influence an EV’s energy consumption and alter its charging frequency.
For a daily commute (less than 30 km), charging is generally carried out 1 to 3 times a week. However, if you’re planning to go on holiday, on a long journey, for example, you’ll need to schedule several charging sessions. Set off with peace of mind with Chargemap and plan your route with the route planner. You’ll be able to find the closest charging stations to charge your EV without any bother.
The weight of the payload
You also need to take into account the weight of the payload, i.e. the number of passengers, the amount of luggage or work equipment. These factors can intensify the charging frequency.
Type of road
The battery can discharge more quickly depending on the type of road. Driving at 110 km/h or 130 km/h on a dual carriageway or motorway requires much more energy than driving at 50 km/h in town. On a mountain road, for example, the car will consume more energy going uphill and recover energy when going downhill.
Storage and weather conditions
If you don’t use your electric car much or need to store it for a long time, it is advisable to maintain a charge level of around 50% to limit the ageing of the battery. This percentage depends, among other things, on the chemistry of the battery.
Over time, and when only used once in a while, the battery runs the risk of oxidising prematurely due to an unsuitable charge level.
The weather also plays an important role in how often you should charge your electric car. When driving in the rain or into the wind, you’ll be pushing your car’s performance to the limit, which in turn reduces the battery’s range.
Generally speaking, batteries don’t appreciate extreme conditions, like in midwinter or midsummer. Driving an electric car comfortably in cold weather is perfectly possible though if you follow certain good practices. The same goes for summertime, as appropriate behaviour will prevent your car battery from overheating and keep you cool!
We also recommend eco-driving as reducing your speed will preserve the battery’s range.
Where can you charge your electric car?
Home charging: should you opt for a domestic socket or a chargepoint?
There are several charging solutions for individual homes: a standard household outlet, a heavy-duty socket, a chargepoint or a wallbox.
Unlike a domestic socket, which considerably slows down charging time, a chargepoint or wallbox allows you to charge your electric vehicle at optimum, continuous speed. This is the best way to control how often you charge your car, save money and preserve the battery’s life span.
There are also a number of government grants available for the installation of chargepoints. If you live in a multi-unit building as a tenant, you should apply to your landlord and If you are the owner, you should apply to the co-owners’ association. If the latter refuses, you can assert your right to a chargepoint.
Outdoor charging at public stations
You’ll find 3 main types of public charging stations on your route: slow (level 1), accelerated (level 2) and fast (level 3). What type of charging should you use on a daily basis?
Avoid charging exclusively at fast/ultra-fast charging stations. Charging at full speed can accelerate the degradation of the battery cells.
That said, some electric vehicle models are equipped with high-performance battery temperature regulation systems.
In any case, for long distances, we recommend the use of fast charging. However, for a short sightseeing weekend, to discover the Christmas markets for instance, we recommend the use of a level 1 or level 2 AC charging station. In doing so, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your activities while your battery is charging.
To find the most suitable charging stations for your vehicle, close by,
take a look at the map of charging stations for electric cars.
Download or update your Chargemap app.