How Does Heat Affect Your EV's Battery?

Yes, there is a correlation between temperature and the performance of your battery. We try to decode the same.

How Does Heat Affect Your EV's Battery?

India is currently under the grip of a severe heat wave. Extremely high temperatures and records being broken, hell hath no fury like Mother Nature scorned. This is also a time where concern regarding electric vehicles and their batteries usually grows. There is a definite correlation between the battery on an EV and ambient temperature. Extreme temperature can affect the performance of a Lithium-Ion battery and there's a very simple explanation. High temperatures combined with the heat generated from the chemical reactions in the battery call for increased thermal management and increased energy consumption, which results in reduced performance and range. 

Then there's the energy consumption from switching on air conditioning, which is another cause for batteries to drain quicker, especially when done for longer durations. The extreme heat not just plays havoc with the battery but also increases the rolling resistance for tyres (Rubber becomes sticky(ier) when heated) and that creates a drag on the battery as well. This is where the battery management system (BMS) comes in and keeps a check on the functioning of the battery.

On an average, a battery on an EV is designed to perform optimally at temperatures of up to 35 degree celsius.Extreme heat can reduce the efficiency of the battery by up to 15 per cent. While EV manufacturers put in a lot of effort and research in making sure that the battery and the thermal management is up to the standards, there are and will be a few stray cases of EVs catching fire, but those are between far and few.

But there are two sides to it. First, R&D on EV batteries and BMS is an ongoing process and most OEMs are putting in significant resources towards the same. Secondly, extreme temperature events are only going to become frequent in the coming years, which makes it even more important for OEMs to develop robust BMS and thermal management systems that makes EVs safer for consumer use. 

Here are a few tips to keep your EVs cool in this scorching summer, which in turn will help the battery run cooler.

-Park your EV in shade as much as possible.

-Use a smaller capacity charger

-Charge the EV up to 70-80 per cent instead of 100 per cent. 

-Keep your tyres inflated as prescribed by the OEM.

-Try and keep your EV free of clutter and extra weight.

-Avoid charging/driving your EV during the hottest parts of the day, as much as possible.

-Keep in mind that the range of your EV may be shortened during summer. Plan accordingly.