Tesla battery expert recommends daily charging limit to optimize durability
Sep. 1st 2017 Fred Lambert
The owner made a video about the exchange with Dahn
Like owners of gas-powered cars, electric car owners can adopt driving and
ownership habits to prolong the useful life of their vehicles.
Simple habits, like not driving a vehicle too hard or rotating the tires
regularly, are common to gas-powered and electric cars, but some habits are
new and only for electric vehicles, like optimizing charging habits.
The main one being the daily charging limit and now a Tesla battery expert
made his recommendation to optimize durability.
Jeff Dahn, a renowned battery researcher and the leader of Tesla’s research
partnership through his battery-research group at Dalhousie University, has
been working on li-ion battery durability for Tesla for a year now.
He has been studying the impact of the charge and discharge rates on the
lifecycle of Tesla’s batteries.
They have reportedly been making progress and we recently reported on Dahn
saying that they created in the lab a new battery chemistry that doubles the
lifetime of batteries in Tesla’s products 4 years ahead of time.
Historical data from Tesla’s current battery packs show about 5% capacity
degradation after 50,000 miles (80,000 km) and the capacity levels off for
about 150,000 more miles before coming close to hitting 90% capacity.
Therefore, they are already doing well and could last for years and hundred
of thousand of miles, but there are also things that you can do to optimize
One of those things is not charging to a full charge too often. Repeated
full charges can negatively impact li-ion battery cells, which is why Tesla
recommends to only daily charge to 90% capacity and to charge to 100% only
when needed for long trips.
In the past, CEO Elon Musk even recommended 80% daily charging:
@cairnz 80% to 30%
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2014
Both are easily manageable in Tesla vehicles since they all offer over 200
miles of range on a full charge and therefore, they can cover most daily
commutes with even just a fraction of a full charge.
But if someone wants to really push the optimisation to its limit, Dahn
suggests going even lower.
A Model X owner on TMC aims to keep his all-electric SUV for up to 20 years
and he decided to reach to Dahn for advice on daily charging to optimize the
battery pack longevity. The researcher responded:
“I would recommend charging to 70% normally. When you need a long trip,
charge to 100%.”
That’s even lower, but again, it’s still over 150 miles of range on most
versions of Tesla’s vehicles and if the need arises, they can actually
charge to 100%.
It’s quite easy to set up the charge limit, which can be done in the car or
through Tesla’s mobile app. The problem is for unplanned use of the car, it
can be useful to have the extra charge ...
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