Should I charge my electric car every night?


Range anxiety is a term invented by EV owners to describe feelings of anxiety that they might not have sufficient range to reach their destination. After all, batteries take way too long to charge when compared to just fueling a car up, because of this, they tend to keep their EVs plugged in every night.

Even though charging your car up every night is not going to destroy your battery, it’s still better to keep your battery at around 80% capacity if you want to maximize the battery’s lifespan. The best thing to do is to consult yourself with the owner’s manual to decide the best course of action.

You should also consider different charger speeds as well. If you happen to have a Level 3 fast charger, then you should not keep your car plugged in. A level 3 fast charger is going to shorten your battery’s lifespan faster than a normal wall outlet would.

However, most newer EVs these days have many advanced charging management systems built-in, as such these can monitor the charging process in order to maximize the long-term battery capacity. Be that as it may, you are better of at keeping your car at around 50-80% of charge at all times.

Daily commuting distances

On average, US citizens spend around 46 minutes on daily commuting, as such, they tend to drive 30-ish miles per day. Considering that an average EV these days offers well over 200 miles on a full charge, it’s safe to say that charging an EV every night is redundant.

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However, these are only average estimates, and your usage scenario might differ. If you do use your car every day for long-distance driving, then charge your car overnight only if necessary. Just as a regular ICE car does not need refueling every day, your EV does not either.

The best course of action is to always have your car between 50% and 80% of charge because it’s not always good to keep your battery fully charge as it can shorten the battery’s lifespan. Similarly, it’s also not a good idea to keep your car parked with less than 20% battery capacity.

 Differences between ‘’regular’’ chargers and Level 3 fast chargers

Let’s say that you do an average of 150 miles per day. If you drive a 300-mile range EV, you will need to charge it every 2 days or so. As such, charging your car up every night makes it convenient as you will probably never have to worry about range anxiety, and if you do over 150 miles per day, buy a diesel car.

The thing to keep in mind is the type of charger you are using. If you predominantly fast charge your car, your battery is going to degrade faster. If you use a regular charger, on the other hand, your battery is going to degrade slower.

Sometimes it makes sense to use a fast charger if you are in a hurry or you’ve made a quick stop at a highway gas station. However, if you are not in a hurry, you should skip using fast chargers for the very same reasons because they do harm your battery long-term.

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Besides fast and regular chargers, it’s good to keep in mind that batteries are made only with a certain amount of battery charge cycles, and you should not charge your battery if it’s not necessary. As mentioned previously, if your car is equipped with advanced charging management systems, then just follow the charging instructions.

 Overcharging and keeping your EV plugged in for extended periods

If you are planning to park your EV in a garage and leave it there for a long time, you should charge the car up and unplug it. However, if you do leave your car plugged in for a long time, a long-term 100% state of charge can damage your battery even if the systems try their best to prevent that from happening.

It takes an extremely long time to deplete a high-capacity EV battery in the stand-by mode because your car comes equipped with systems that are designed to put your car in a so-called ‘’Deep Sleep mode’’. This mode allows the car to disengage all the unnecessary systems in order to maximize long-term battery in standby mode.

FAQ Section

Is EV charging safe?

We are all aware that we should never smoke or use a cellphone while we fill our cars up with gasoline. After all, it’s obvious that fire and fuel don’t go all that well together. However, when EVs are concerned, we are not truly aware of what we should or should not do, but rest assured, EV charging is indeed safe.

First of all, you should buy a dedicated EV wall box charger. Almost all never EVs come with chargers out of the box, and they are the ones you should be using. Never daisy-chain old cables with dedicated car chargers because they might not be able to cope with constant current, and thus catch fire.

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 Can I charge my EV during rain?

You can charge your EV in any weather situation as EV outlets are designed to cope with extreme weather conditions. EV chargers are tested tirelessly and rigorously before being approved, this means that there is no chance of an electric shock if everything works as intended.

Modern-day chargers don’t send any power whatsoever before they recognize the car and deem the situation as safe. Tesla uses a flashing green ring around the charger to indicate that the car is receiving electricity.

 How long does it take to fully charge up an EV battery?

Through a decent wall outlet, a 60 kWh car battery needs as much as 8-9 hours to fully charge. Of course, this varies depending on the size of the battery and the outlet itself. If you opt for fast charging, you can reach an 80% charge in a few dozen minutes.

The car itself is also important as some models can charge faster than others. For example, the newly released Lucid Air offers 20 miles per 1 minute of fast charging while other EVs such as the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model 3 only offer around 15 miles for the same amount of time.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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