Seven Costly Blunders: Avoid These Common Mistakes with Your EV Battery

Ensuring Your EV Battery Stands the Test of Time: Proactive Maintenance Tips

Everything You Need to Know

In the world of modern Electric Vehicles (EVs & BEVs), charging up, hitting the road, and topping up again is a breeze, thanks to built-in safety measures that guard against overcharging, over-discharging, and overheating—the top culprits for battery wear. While EV owners don't need to constantly fret over their batteries, a degree of respect and care is essential. By following the expert advice provided in this article, you can potentially extend your battery's lifespan by years, even decades.

Just like the engines in traditional gas-powered vehicles, EV batteries are engineered for durability, yet they will eventually succumb to wear and tear. Protect your investment and bolster future resale value by steering clear of the seven most common mistakes made by EV owners.

Disclaimer: These insights are meant to inform and empower EV enthusiasts, but they should not replace manufacturer recommendations. Always consult your vehicle's manual and adhere to manufacturer guidelines for optimal performance and safety.

1. Overcharging

Just like porridge that's neither too hot nor too cold and planets in their habitable zones, Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries thrive in what can be termed as the 'Goldilocks Zone.'

It's crucial never to leave your battery at a full 100% charge. Lithium-ion batteries, in particular, perform optimally when maintained within the 20%-80% charge range. While it might require some additional planning, prioritising this mid-range usage could potentially elongate your battery's lifespan. One significant reason why batteries in mobile devices tend to degrade after a couple of years is due to being consistently charged to their maximum capacity daily, from full charge to complete discharge.

Subjecting your battery to continuous full charging places undue stress on it. If you don't require the maximum charge, it's advisable not to utilize it. This is why many manufacturers provide options for "standard" or "normal" charge levels, which refrain from charging the battery to its highest capacity but instead maintain it around 80%. Of course, when necessary, a full charge is still an option, but it's best done right before embarking on a trip. Even short periods of leaving a battery at maximum charge can potentially impact its longevity.

2. Draining the Battery

Conversely, allowing your battery to linger in a low charge state (below 20%) for an extended period can also have repercussions on its longevity.

Lithium-ion batteries fare better with partial cycles rather than deep discharges. Most manufacturers safeguard batteries from reaching complete discharge—a condition that could potentially render the battery permanently unusable, depending on the extent of degradation. Since lithium-ion batteries don't suffer from memory effects, there's no harm in using your vehicle—and charger—frequently. This not only helps prevent excessive battery wear but also ensures that, with a bit of foresight, you'll consistently arrive at your destination with ample range for years to come.

Another added benefit of refraining from charging to full capacity is that it allows room to store energy from regenerative braking, leading to reduced charging costs. When batteries reach full or near-full capacity, regenerative braking is disabled to prevent overcharging.

3. Charging Too Often

The third common misstep regarding EV batteries? Overcharging, by charging too frequently. As a general guideline, avoid charging daily unless necessary, as the battery may experience natural degradation based on the number of charging cycles it undergoes throughout its lifespan.

Continuous use of the charger can lead to a decline in EV battery performance and longevity. Therefore, it's advisable to minimise charging to help extend the lifespan of the high-voltage battery.

A practical approach is to plug in and charge whenever feasible, but not necessarily every time you drive. This might entail plugging in your car every other night to maintain an adequate charge level, depending on your commuting habits. Alternatively, for those without access to a home charger, it may involve regular charging whenever possible.

Maintaining the battery within the 20%-80% charge range and reducing the frequency of charges—rather than charging to 100% or charging after every drive cycle—will help preserve optimal battery performance. For many EV owners, this becomes a routine practice, like regular visits to the gas station and checking the oil level in traditional gas-powered vehicles.

4. Not Balancing the Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are engineered to mitigate the memory-related issues commonly associated with older battery technologies. Nevertheless, the battery packs used in Electric Vehicles (EVs) are more intricate, often comprising numerous individual batteries—sometimes up to 7000 individual cells—packed into removable modules. Battery balancing is crucial for optimizing your battery's capacity and ensuring an even distribution of charge.

While modern EV batteries incorporate automatic battery balancing features, older models may benefit from manual interventions to aid the process.

Although you may not frequently embark on long trips that require the absolute maximum range, periodically performing a maximum charge can be advantageous for your battery management system. A quarterly maximum charge can potentially enhance the lifespan of your EV battery. However, it's essential to note that once fully charged, the battery should not be left idle, as mentioned in point #1. It's advisable to perform this maximum charge right before embarking on a trip.

5. Overusing DC Quick Charge

DC quick charging proves invaluable when you need to surpass the vehicle's single-charge range in a day or if you've inadvertently missed charging overnight and find yourself below the 30% mark. These chargers can inject upwards of 80 miles of range into the Kia Soul within just 30 minutes. However, such convenience comes at a cost to the batteries.

Continuous reliance on DC charging can lead to diminished battery performance and durability.

To preserve battery life, it's advisable to limit the use of DC charging. Typically, EV batteries retain about 70-80% of their capacity after 10 years of regular use. It's speculated that frequent utilisation of fast charging—more than once or twice daily—may result in a loss of approximately 1% of capacity per year. Essentially, frequent users of fast chargers may experience performance on the lower end of the normal spectrum.

For maintaining optimal battery condition, Level 2 AC charging is recommended. Level 2 chargers, offering 240v power, are the most efficient home charging solution and are commonly found at free charging stations throughout town. They require 6 to 14 hours to fully charge an EV or 4 to 8 hours for a PHEV.

6. Improper Storage

The capacity of an Electric Vehicle (EV) battery might diminish over time if the vehicle is stored for extended periods in high temperatures. Likewise, even short-term storage in low temperatures can lead to decreased capacity. If the vehicle is expected to remain idle for an extended duration, it's advisable to charge the battery at least once every three months to prevent complete discharge. Whenever possible, it's preferable to store your EV indoors, away from extreme temperature conditions.

7. Not using the On-Board Computer

Electric Vehicles (EVs) incorporate advanced technology featuring sophisticated on-board interactive computers. The majority of modern EVs are equipped with fail-safe mechanisms and built-in precautions, alleviating concerns about charging or not charging your EV.

Place your confidence in the technology and take the time to familiarise yourself with it.

Most electric vehicles boast comprehensive menus and options. These menus typically include available range information, energy consumption details outlining battery and energy usage, power consumption data to monitor the current energy usage for each vehicle system, and battery information such as reachable range, remaining battery power, and anticipated charging duration for various charger types. Additionally, there are options for charge management, ECO driving, and EV settings. Essentially, this menu encompasses everything necessary for effective battery management and maintenance.

The onboard computer often provides historical data regarding your EV usage and its impact on the battery, enabling you to adjust your driving habits to benefit the long-term health of your battery.


Battery life is inevitably influenced by driving habits and environmental conditions, irrespective of diligent maintenance efforts. These habits encompass factors such as aggressive driving and exposure to extreme conditions like heat, cold, or high altitude, all of which accelerate battery capacity loss.

However, preserving the health of your battery through responsible driving practices and adhering to our recommendations—along with crucially following the guidance provided by your manufacturer—will collectively contribute to extending the lifespan of your battery.