Did you know that electric vehicle batteries react differently depending on whether we are in a hot or cold season? Extreme temperatures are the kryptonite of electric batteries and, in view of the time of year we’re at now, it is worth knowing what our batteries face when fighting high temperatures. The thing is, in summer it is very common for heat to wear down the electronic components of the batteries, as well as to reduce their performance and even their working life.
Batteries, as one of the most decisive components in this type of sustainable vehicle, must undergo special, meticulous care at this time of year to avoid unforeseen events, breakdowns or unnecessary expenses. In this post we would just like to give you some simple tips to ensure that the batteries of your last mile commercial vehicles do not suffer during the delivery routes of this exceptionally hot summer.
How do high temperatures affect batteries?
Before looking at the tips, it is important to know the risks of extreme high temperatures for the battery of an electric vehicle. Then you will definitely pay more attention to their prevention and maintenance! As we said before, when the temperature of a battery is higher than 45º, it will be noticed that its electronic components wear out much faster, causing the charging performance to drop significantly.
It should also be borne in mind that heat not only affects the vehicle’s own battery, but also affects the outdoor charging stations. However, most electric vehicles today incorporate a system that reduces the intensity and speed of the charge if there is a danger of overheating. However, by contrast, this makes the charging time increase, engendering problems in achieving the autonomy required to carry out the desired trip or delivery route.
So, during the summer we need to be aware of the battery temperature of our electric vehicles. The thing is, electric batteries, usually made of lithium ions, do not usually react well to temperatures that exceed 20º.
Look for a smooth, efficient ride
- Avoid sudden acceleration and braking as long as they can be avoided.
- On motorways or highways, keep your speed constant.
- Disconnect the regenerative braking system of the vehicle on highways or motorways. This system, although it is useful in the city to recover energy, will require you to keep your foot down on faster roads to maintain the rhythm. Something which is not compatible with the ideal of maintaining a constant speed when we are at high temperatures.
- Moderate your speed. Your vehicle’s battery runs out faster if you drive at high speeds. All the more so when it is very hot outside.
Use the air-conditioning responsibly
- Air-conditioning directly affects the range of an electric vehicle. The heat pump that maintains the system requires a lot of energy and the risk of overheating the battery is real (all the more so on long, hot drives). We do not want the battery components to suffer damage or cracks that compromise their operation or safety.
- A tip: air-condition the interior of the vehicle and cool the battery before starting any journey. And better yet! Do this when the vehicle is charging, so it will use direct power to this end instead of using the battery.
Charge the battery at night
- During the charging process, the battery temperature tends to increase. It is thus best to avoid the hottest hours to carry out this process. So, at night with its milder temperatures is ideal so that the vehicle does not suffer. And if you have no choice but to charge the battery during the day? There is also a solution for this case: use charging stations in car parks which are underground, covered or in the shade.
Try to park in the shade
- Keep your electric vehicle battery out of the reach of the sun’s rays when you park: we already know how hot it can get inside a vehicle exposed to the latter for a long time (or for a short time, depending on the heat). By parking in the shade, you will make its temperature more stable and, in addition, the air-conditioning will require less energy when you use the vehicle again.
Take care of your electric vehicles and their batteries on these hot days to enjoy smooth operation for a long time, like on the very first day.