Tips for EV's during the hot summer months: What should I pay attention to?

Tips for the hot summer months

Summer is around the corner and the temperatures are starting to heat up again.  The holiday period and the good weather lead people to travel longer distances and take more trips. This also applies to EV owners. 

As an EV owner you don't have to worry too much about environmental zones or low-emission zones, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your EV during the summer months. Just as with cold weather, hot weather means there are a few things to keep in mind.  Paying attention to certain things will help keep your battery healthy and maximise its lifespan.   

A 2021 study by AAA concluded that EV range drops by up to 17% in outside temperatures up to 35°C with the air conditioning switched on.  To avoid this and other issues you can take some precautions!

What can I do?

Do not rapid charge at high outside temperatures 

It is important not to rapid-charge your car every time you need a charge up, even when it is not particularly hot or cold. Repeatedly fast-charging your car also has an impact on the life of your EV battery. According to a study by the Tsinghua University in China charging at higher electrical capacities can lead to higher temperatures inside the battery and contribute to faster battery degradation.  

It is therefore only reasonable that rapid charging at high outside temperatures increases the temperature in the battery even more. This can result in your EV battery overheating and becoming overcharged. If you do have to charge quickly, it is best to do so in the morning or at least in the shade. Ideally, you should charge your car at night at an AC charging station of lower power.  


Using the preconditioning system

These days, most EV's have a "preconditioning" feature. This means you can set your electric car to a certain temperature before taking off on a car drive, depending on the weather. This allows you to cool down the interior before getting into the car. This also has a positive effect on the battery health, therefore you can hit the road in hot weather without any worries. 


The shade is your EV’s best friend!

One of the easiest tricks is to park your car in the shade as much as possible during the hot summer months. It’s greatly beneficial when you avoid parking the car in sun, not only for your own comfort when getting into the car, but also for the battery of your EV.  

In addition, other electric car parts are more sensitive to heat, as well as EV batteries, so if you have the choice of parking under trees or behind a wall, we recommend choosing the shade.


Use fewer car applications while driving

Just like with your smartphone, your EV battery will run slower if used excessively in hot weather. Excessive or unnecessary use of multiple applications or electrical features can cause your EV battery to overload in high outside temperatures. The more background processes running on your EV, the hotter your battery gets. 

Apps or functions can be e.g. Game Apps, Text Messaging and Music Streaming Services, which further drain the battery. So if you are driving around your EV in the hot summer months, it is better not to use such non-essential applications and features. 


Leave your EV in its socket

EV's are designed with countless warning and detection systems. They'll bring issues to your attention when needed and they can adapt to countless situations. A proof of the intelligence of these systems is the thermal management system

When an EV is plugged in, it automatically uses this system to control battery temperature by drawing electricity directly from the charger. This way it doesn't overload the EV battery because it will draw power directly from the charging station. This is different from the preconditioning system, which works via manual input from the driver. The thermal system regulates the battery temperature  automatically when needed.

What one should alwaysremember is that battery performance is at its best between 20% and 80%. Therefore, it is best to keep the battery percentage within this range. 


Drive in Eco-mode

On hot days, you could switch on Eco-mode while driving. This is also a good tip for drivers who tend to put their foot down on the accelerator. This mode softens the accelerator's response, so to speak. This is an ideal way to maximise the driving range and not to overheat the battery of your EV on hot days.