Electric Vehicle Charging Safety Tips in Hot Weather

Summertime has finally arrived and whilst most of us are excited to bask in the warm weather, the same cannot be said about our EVs.

Warm weather can cause several issues with electric cars, from overheating to tyre problems. Higher temperatures affect tire pressure, and electric cars tend to be heavier than petrol and diesel vehicles, making them more prone to faults in this area and etc.

There are some ways how heat will affect your car

1. EV batteries 

EV batteries will deteriorate over time, just like any other type of battery. However, certain circumstances can promote faster degradation.

That hot climates decreased batteries’ states of health faster than those in temperate climates. Additionally, people who used Direct-current fast charger (DCFC) in hot climates saw an even faster rate of battery degradation.

Rapidly charging the battery creates higher temperatures due to the accelerated electrical currents. This may compound the effect that hot weather has on the battery.

2. Air conditioning

For many drivers, car air conditioning is a real saving grace during hot weather spells. However, it has been reported that turning on the aircon in your EV reduces its range by 17%! This means that if you were to plan a 100-mile trip, you’d only be able to travel 83 miles during a heatwave.

3. Tire safety

To make sure your tires are in good shape, use a tire pressure gauge to check the inflation monthly. Inflate the tires according to the car’s specifications, which can usually be found on the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Hot weather can decrease the reliability and safety of any car tire, Consumer Reports pointed out. Improperly inflated tires can overheat in the summer, and in the worst cases, this can cause a blowout. Plus, as Energy.gov pointed out, tires with the incorrect inflation can reduce efficiency.

Top tips to look after your EV in hot weather

1. Take care of your battery

It’s worth moving your car into a parking spot in the shade if you can, to avoid overheating – plus your EV could even lose charge if left out in the sun for too long. Charging overnight, or in the early morning and late evening when it is cooler would also be preferable.

Of course, one way to avoid any issues is to avoid driving altogether and take an alternative means of transport. However, if driving is your only real option, it’s best to avoid driving during the hottest part of the day, which is generally between 12pm and 3pm. Driving at a cooler time in the day will help to prevent any damage to your car’s battery.

2. Choose sheltered charging stations

If you don’t have a home EV charger, you’ll need to charge your car at an EV charging station. Bear in mind that high temperatures can also have an impact on charging stations. For this reason, it’s best to find a sheltered charging station or an underground station to keep your EV cool whilst charging and to allow your charger car to cool down. 

Unfortunately, not many public charger stations are sheltered or underground at the moment. An alternative to public charger stations are domestic charging stations and workplace charging points. This way you can position your charging pod in a sheltered area and ensure that your EV can charge safely and efficiently.

3. Storage options

When you’re not using your EV, make sure it’s being stored in a location that’s not too hot. Heat causes undue stress to the battery, which will shorten its life as well as drain its charge.

Ideally, you can leave your car in the shade or a covered garage. If this isn’t an option, sun screens or car covers can help keep the sunrays off the vehicle.

4. Only charge your EV to 80%

It’s recommended that you charge your EV to 80% in most cases, but especially during summertime when temperatures are high. Charging higher than this whilst the weather is hot can cause cell degradation, a condition which occurs when lithium battery cells lose the capacity to charge at their original rate.

Installing a home electric car charger in your home is a great way to make sure your car stays nice and safe all summer long.

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