If you’ve ever had a combustion vehicle with a petrol or diesel engine, you’ll know that heat waves only have one effect on it: you have to turn the air conditioning on full to cool the interior. On the other hand, those who own an electric car may have to take other circumstances into account. And if not, tell Dennis Hegstad.
As reported by Business InsiderThis Tesla Model 3 owner said he couldn’t get into his car after the 12-volt battery, which powers the car’s smallest functions, including the windows and doors, died last week in the middle of summer heat in Texas.
The low-voltage battery is needed not only to power the car’s smaller electronics, but also to charge the electric car’s main battery, and Tesla can’t charge without it.
“What do you do when it’s so hot that your tesla account won’t respond to the mobile app or physical key?”. Startup founder Dennis Hegstad wrote on Twitter. “I can’t open or move the car to get to the charging point.”
In a video showing him unsuccessfully trying to get into the electric car with his Tesla key card, Hegstad said the 2018 Model 3 had about 80 miles of range left when he woke up that morning. He also posted an image from the Tesla app showing he “couldn’t find the car” to unlock it.
How does extreme heat affect electric cars?
Many users are aware of this Low temperatures affect the autonomy of an electric vehiclewhich reduces its capacity up to 30% According to some studies. It is not well known that extreme heat also affects batteries and can cause performance issues.
As a general rule, as soon as the temperature drops below 65 degrees and above 77 degrees, lithium-ion batteries are affected, and they are most common in electric vehicles. For this reason, in summer, the role of the car’s battery cooling system is essential, as it significantly prevents the autonomy from being affected.
However, depending on how high the temperatures are and the battery deteriorates, the battery can be greatly affected by overheating, Especially after 113 degrees. .
On the other hand, our use of the car will also affect its autonomy. Driving uphill or using air conditioning is known to affect the performance of any vehicle, and this is no different in the case of electric cars. Therefore, choosing behaviors that reduce energy consumption, such as avoiding overloading the trunk, driving in ECO mode, or using reverse heat pump air conditioning, will help the battery last longer.
Reliable charge, even at extreme temperatures
But temperatures don’t just affect electric vehicle batteries while on the road, they also affect charging efficiency. Like battery components, electric vehicle charger electronics can lose efficiency in extreme temperatures.
To avoid these problems, it is always advisable to have a charging point in a place hidden from the sun, or in the case of charging outside the home, choose chargers in the shade or with solar panels, which will also provide additional energy. If you also choose to charge at dusk, at night, or at dawn, you’ll avoid high temperatures affecting vehicle charging performance and make better use of the EV charger’s capabilities.
What do you do in the event of a heat wave?
In order to help you combat the negative effects high temperatures can have on an EV, Yass Electricity website He gives a number of recommendations:
Park your electric car in the shade
Like most batteries, your lithium-ion batteries can lose their charge if left in the sun for too long. To keep your electric car as cool as possible, it’s a good idea to find a shady place to park your car whenever possible.
Only charge VE up to 80
Most manufacturers recommend not charging an EV to 100% as a best battery care practice. These batteries have an optimum percentage level that you need to consider when charging them to prevent overcharging and overheating.
Charging the EV up to 80% is recommended in most cases, especially in the summer when temperatures are high. Charging above this percentage in hot weather can lead to cell deterioration, a condition that occurs when lithium battery cells lose the ability to charge at their original rates.
Choose sheltered or underground charging stations
If you do not have an electric vehicle charger at home, you must charge the vehicle at an electric vehicle charging station. High temperatures can also affect charging stations. For this reason, it is best to find a protected charging station or subway station to keep the electric vehicle cool while charging and to allow the charging vehicle to cool down.
Unfortunately, there are not many protected or underground public charging stations today. An alternative to public charging stations are home charging stations and workplace charging points. In this way, you can place the charger in a protected area and ensure that the electric vehicle is charged safely and efficiently.
New electric cars have a very useful additional function called pre-conditioning. With this function, you can pre-cool the car before a long trip and prevent battery drain if the air conditioner is full while driving. Pre-conditioning can be accessed from the EV’s infotainment system or via a smartphone app.
It should be noted that the pre-conditioning works best when plugged into an overnight charge, as power is drawn from the charger rather than the battery. Therefore, it is those who have home chargers for electric vehicles who will benefit most from this function.
Use the eco mode
New hybrid and electric cars have an economy mode that increases the efficiency of the electric vehicle. Eco mode reduces the amount of power supplied to the electronic systems for functions such as acceleration. Electric vehicles consume more energy when they’re hot, and this setup can help save your cargo vehicle’s range, especially during long trips.
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