Having an electric vehicle or EV allows you to be able to drive around without using gas, meaning that you can reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to combat climate change. It also means you don’t have to pay for gas anymore, so when gas prices skyrocket, you don’t have to worry about it. You do have to keep your EV charged, though. Since it stops running when it runs out of juice, you might be tempted to charge your EV every single night, but is it a bad idea to do this?
If you feel anxiety about charging your EV, there might be two competing forces at play at the same time. One of them is likely “range anxiety.” You want to know that you can get in your EV and have enough power to cover the distance that you need to go, possibly with some to spare. On the other hand, charging your EV too often might shorten the battery lifespan. Each battery only has so many charges it can handle before it needs to be replaced, and that substitution can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
There are arguments to be made in favor of both doing nightly charging and also avoiding it. Not all of them might apply to you, but we’re going to present them all so you can decide for yourself what your best option is.
Arguments Against Nightly EV Charging
The biggest argument against charging your EV every night is the idea that every battery only has so many charging cycles. If you burn through those cycles faster than is necessary, you’ll shorten the life of your battery. You would then need to replace it in order to keep using your EV.
EV batteries are based on lithium-ion technology and degrade over time. Some manufacturers suggest drivers let their battery capacity get under 20% before charging back up to 80%. The fear is that doing other charges, including using rapid charging stations, might put unnecessary stress on a battery system.
A second reason for not charging nightly is just the fact that it’s possibly not even necessary. Data from just before the pandemic showed that the average American driver was only going 275 miles a week. That’s likely to be less now due to remote work being far more prevalent.
Most EVs can handle 200 or 300 miles on just one charge. That would make charging something you only need to do every few days. Some EVs can handle 370 to 400 miles on one charge, and you’d probably only need to charge them once a week.
The third argument in favor of avoiding nightly charging is how EV charging stations are popping up in more places. EV charging station scarcity has been a big problem holding back the sale of electric vehicles. Many EV drivers charge at home all the time because they just don’t know when they might have the next chance to power up.
There are over 48,000 charging stations across the country. Costs vary by state, but the usual average is just 18 cents for each kWh. A total charge would cost about $17.
The Case for Nightly Charging
The primary benefit of doing nighty charging is simply that of convenience. When you wake up and get into your EV, you’re going to know it’s primed and ready to go. You’re refreshed to the best of your ability, and so is your electric vehicle.
For that matter, you don’t have to worry about the gas station anymore. You don’t even have to worry about going to a charging station. This is one item on your to-do list that is no longer a part of your errands, so you have a freer schedule than you did before. Granted, getting gas might not take that long, but it’s still a pit stop you don’t have to do anymore.
Also, many manufacturers are starting to account for daily charging. BMW, Nissan, and Tesla are all brands urging owners to charge on a regular basis. A big part of the reason behind this is that they have built safety features into their batteries.
For instance, they might have their batteries only charge to an 80% to avoid damage while the virtual display on your dashboard might tell you that you’ve charged to 100%. Some EVs will even have Wi-Fi options that let you get from 80% to an actual 100% while doing your morning shower if you know you’ll use it that day. The dangers of batteries dying from getting charged through too many cycles are declining year after year as manufacturing and technology get better.
Even if your EV doesn’t have a charging limit, you might be able to program one of your own. Setting at 80% gives you a good bit of mileage but also prevents the battery from getting hurt by charging up all the way to the maximum. It’s an effective balance between having daily range but also protecting the investment you have in the EV and its battery.
Does your work require sudden trips or long commutes? Do you just like being able to take a spontaneous road trip on days off? If these apply, then you might want to be fully charged at all times. While the average driver might only do a few hundred miles each week, you might not be an average driver. Track your average weekly mileage, so you have some idea of how much ground you need to cover on a regular basis. You can decide your charging schedule based on that information.
Nightly charging might also make sense during the winter. Cold temperatures and weather might be things that reduce the efficiency of your EV battery system, and a full charge might help compensate for that.
One final reason for possibly keeping your EV fully charged is because of potential power outages. If the power in your neighborhood goes out, then you won’t be able to charge your EV if necessary. For that matter, with the right setup, you might be able to use your EV to power up crucial appliances and technology in your home that you need for the time being.
Get Your Home Fixed Up
As you can see, there are ideas both for and against the nightly charging of your EV. Regardless of how often you charge up your EV, you need an EV charging station to do that. Our professionals have the skills, experience, and tools to make that happen.
You can also count on us for the installation of lighting, wiring, ceiling fans, breakers, and fuses. We can make sure your home is safe with surge protectors, smoke detectors, and code compliance inspection and analysis. If your home needs new wiring, if you are considering adding an EV charging station to your garage, or even if you want a consultation and price quote to help you decide, our team is ready and willing to help. Contact Home Team Electric in the Coachella Valley at your earliest convenience for any of these services.