Your electric battery will last as long as you want it to. That’s how you get a million kilometers

Did you really expect to drive a million kilometers from a conventional car? The German postal service Deutsche Post has been instructed to achieve this using electric vehicles that have been created for them. And you can take advantage of it.

If the heart (and most of the cost) of a conventional car is in the engine and transmission assembly, the value of electricity is hidden in the battery. We all know that changing in the red zone shortens engine life, as does full throttle with a cold engine, but they tell us little about extend battery life.

However, we have extensive experience with lithium-ion batteries. The computer and mobile phone will notify us when 10 or 15 percent of the battery is left. We know that even if you enable low power mode, below that number the charge seems to be running low. Car batteries are not much different.

“Battery Knowledge” tables.

When Deutsche Post wanted to deliver mail in electric vehicles, outsourced “adhoc” design and manufacturing, which they eventually abandoned. They now use vehicles from traditional manufacturers. However, they did public battery life data which they used depending on the depth of the discharges and their subsequent recharging.

From a practical point of view These tables are a life saver if you want your batteries to last forever.. The figures refer to NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) batteries, which are used by most cars because they offer the best performance, both in terms of behavior at low temperatures and in terms of stored energy density and delivered power.

We have adapted the calculations of the car with a maximum range of 300 kmbut the rule of three would serve to determine the maximum mileage expected during its lifetime with a different autonomy.

It doesn’t count a cycle every time you plug it in

The tables show that connecting an electric vehicle to an electrical outlet and starting the charging process is not a charging cycle. The charging cycle is a complete discharge and then a recharge. Recharging to only 80 percent allows you to multiply the possible cycles by sixor tenfold when recharged to 70 percent.

Who The tables show the chemical balance on which battery operation is based.. Around the middle state of charge, you can “play” with the back and forth reaction (the act of charging and discharging) almost indefinitely. As the head of an electrical company pointed out, the ideal for those who need to travel around the city in an electric vehicle would be to connect to every low-energy charging point they can find at every point in between. A city with street lights or charging bollards would give this idea a good boost, extending the life of an electric car.

Similarly, although with its own figures, the Hyundai website states: “If the battery is discharged and fully charged, it can be used for 1,000 charges, if the battery is half discharged (50%) and recharged, 5,000 charges; if a fifth of the battery is used (20%) and recharged, 8,000 charges. This means that if the Kia Soul Booster EV drives 77 kilometers per day (equivalent to 20% of the maximum range) and recharges every night, Battery lasts 8,000 days (22 years)“.

Hence both Hyundai and Kia limit the maximum charge to 80 percentunless the driver stipulates otherwise. Other manufacturers include this optionthey even include them in their updates.

Speed ​​up downloads?

There are those who question whether it will be safe to keep a car for 22 years. In practice, this is good for getting more mileage, but it may not be advisable to drain the battery too much. With a 10 percent battery, most electric vehicles limit performance enough when there is little voltage left in it that safety is questioned (except for anxiety, as in an internal combustion engine with the reserve switched on).

Continuous charging until fully discharged, instead of recharging at 10 percent, generates marginal gains: total mileage would only increase by 6 percent (whereas we would only lose 10 percent in terms of mileage gained from the battery if we charged to 20 percent ).

Choose your battery size wisely

The above can also help us choose a battery according to certain criteria. Degradation due to the aging of an internal combustion engine usually occurs suddenly, as a failure. The mechanism almost suddenly loses its functionality, following the characteristic way in which the metal behaves. Instead of, the battery always “warns” and gradually loses its qualities from the first day. A reasonable choice of an electric car and its battery should therefore take into account this wear and tear from the use we intend to give it, which the Euro 7 standard wants to set at 8 years or 160,000 km while maintaining a capacity of 70 percent compared to the original.

Apparently, to stretch your battery to the max, you should consider it when it is at 70 percent it will no longer work as expected, and that you will only charge to 80 percent without dropping below 10 percent. That is, by multiplying these ranges of use You should look for a car that provides at least 49 percent of the autonomy needed on a daily basis. If you drive 100 km a day, the optimal choice to get the most out of your money would be a car with an autonomy of about 200 km. Or opt for LFP batteries which will take over the market as they are cheaper and have less limitations on the range of recharge. Or wait for the advances to come: Toyota has announced a target for the Toyota bZ4X (in certain markets and under certain conditions) of only 10 percent degradation after 10 years and up to one million kilometers with NMC batteries.

Toyota promises that the bZ4X’s battery degradation will not exceed ten percent after ten years or 160,000 kilometers driven.

What the charts don’t say

In these tables The charging speed, the power with which we recharge, is not taken into account., which is another important factor. The slower it charges, the lower the internal resistances, lower temperatures and even better use of the energy we provide. Better cycle tolerance at slow loads.

The tables do not apply to lithium ferrophosphate (LFP) batteries, as different chemical combinations of lithium offer different properties. Not only that, within the same chemistry, processing materials can lead to different results that favor a particular cell manufacturer. So let’s take tables as a general “good use” or “efficient use” scenario. In the meantime, we’ll have to start thinking about requiring more detailed user manuals from EV manufacturers, because when we want to sell them on, they’ll know if we’ve taken care of the batteries or not, the life they have left. and a residual value that will depend almost entirely on the battery, as it does now on the motor.

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