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Unplug EVs during lockdown to reduce risk of battery damage, says Arval

By / 4 months ago / UK News / No Comments

Drivers of electric vehicles should ensure vehicles are unplugged during the lockdown to reduce the risk of battery damage.

EVs should to be left unplugged and manually monitored, normally once a week

Arval UK has warned that leaving an EV permanently on charge while the vehicle was hardly being used could cause battery degradation issues; something that less experienced EV users might not be aware of.

David Watts, consultant at the fleet management and leasing company, said: “General manufacturer advice is that if 100% battery range is not required for your journey, you should routinely charge to no more than 80% to reduce battery degradation and maintain its efficiency over time.

“Therefore, it is recommended that if the EV is unused for an extended period – as is likely to happen during the lockdown – it is not left plugged in and charging continuously to keep it at 100%. This has the potential to damage the battery.”

He added that while some EVs would stop charging automatically if left plugged in, others needed to be left unplugged and manually monitored, normally once a week.

Watts added that it remained important to keep an eye on the current state of charge of your EV to make sure it doesn’t drop too low either.

“It is normally recommended that any EV should be kept at between 50-80% charge. This means unnecessary battery degradation by charging to nearer 100% will not occur but also, at the other end of the scale, 50% is high enough to prevent damage due to over-discharge. It’s worth remembering that fully discharging the battery can also cause damage.”

Kia however has said that its fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles should be left in a fully charged state; showing the need to check on carmakers’ specific requirements for EVs.

And while Kia has said that petrol and diesel cars should be charged at regular intervals if suitable battery charging equipment is available, it’s warned that its Niro hybrids should never have a charger, jump pack or jump leads attached and instead asked drivers to start the engine at least every two weeks. Drivers should let the hybrid idle for 20 minutes, with all unnecessary electrical items switched off and while being monitored.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.