While the basics of caring for an electric car will be similar to the needs of a regular ICE vehicle, extra attention should be placed on its battery health. Carefully maintaining this core component can extend your vehicle’s lifespan by years. The best advice for battery management is to:
Just as a petrol or diesel engine needs to be run every so often to keep it healthy, a battery-powered car also needs to be frequently taken out for a drive. Even short trips to the shops should be enough to keep it ticking over nicely.
It’s not necessary to steer clear of rapid charging altogether, but it’s best to only use it when time is at a premium. Slower, steadier charges (like those you can do at home overnight or during your working day) are better for long-term battery health.
Allowing your battery to drop to empty, or charging it to its very limit, are both things best avoided. Keeping your battery in the steady bracket of 20-80% (much like with some mobile phones) will help to preserve it. You might even be able to change the settings on your car to cap at 80% when charging.
Sometimes it makes sense to fully charge your battery. Long trips are a good example of this. Its overall health will only be damaged if you consistently keep it topped up to 100% (or in the high 90s).
Some electric cars have a built-in navigation system which tells you how much charge is needed to reach your next destination. Be sure to check this beforehand, rather than guessing and topping it up all the way as a failsafe.