There are a number of sayings that have plagued the minds of pretty much anyone who owns anything battery-operated:

‘Don’t overcharge your phone because it loses its battery capacity.’ 

‘Don’t fast-charge your electric vehicle because it loses its battery capacity.’

‘Don’t eat before bed because you’ll lose your battery capacity.’

There are so many actions that are said to lead to the dreaded battery capacity loss and it can be overwhelming to avoid them all. But how true is it that rapid charging is bad for your EV battery? Today, the auto experts at Fingo show us the facts:

The conventional wisdom

When answering this question, there’s unfortunately no clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is, however, the thing we refer to as the ‘conventional wisdom’. 

The conventional wisdom on this subject is that rapid charging your EV battery can speed up its capacity decline – if you overdo it. This isn’t just some quote your friend read on Quora or Reddit; in fact, car manufacturer Kia even advises that you use rapid chargers sparingly and rely on slower AC charging for the majority of your recharging needs.

Why is this?

There is sound proof that your EV battery will degrade quicker the more often you fast-charge it. This is because fast-charging any battery produces more waste heat – and heat is one of those things that can contribute to lithium-ion battery degradation.

However, it may not be as bad as you think

There is, however, some research that indicates the ‘conventional wisdom’ isn’t as wise as it proclaims. In the US, the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the official labs of the United States Department of Energy, found that over the use of 80,000km, a 2012 Nissan Leaf that was exclusively fast-charged lost only 4% more battery capacity than the same Leaf that was charged with a regular home charger (27% degradation versus 23% degradation). In the scheme of things, that’s really not so bad.

All batteries degrade over time

The truth is that all batteries, no matter their quality, degrade over time. It’s the reason why your very first iPod Nano from 2005 will still turn on like the little champion it is, but will only last about a minute till it runs out of juice.

The takeaway

If you’re wondering whether this old saying should put you off buying an EV, the answer is a resounding no. Overall, there’s actually much less to go wrong in an EV than a combustion motor vehicle!

Ready to take the plunge and make the switch to electric? Fingo are the team for you. Their expertise lie in providing vehicle solutions to the whole of Australia, ranging from finance to insurance to fleet management for businesses. Chat with the specialists and Fingo and get your hands on your dream EV sooner.

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