Why Your EV May Be Charging Slowly

October 23, 2023 11:52:05

Electric vehicles are leaps and bounds ahead of conventional fossil-fuel-powered cars in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but they are still inferior in terms of charging, or refueling speeds. The average diesel or petrol-powered car can fill up in only a minute or two while a level 2 electric vehicle charger can provide an electric car with anywhere from 10 to 75 miles of range for every hour of charging. Fortunately, EV drivers can bump charging speeds by taking into account certain factors before, during and after they charge their vehicles.

If your electric car is charging slowly, factors such as loads, temperature and battery state of charge may be impacting your charging speeds. Ideally, the best way to increase EV charging speeds is to either install a more robust charger at home, leverage superfast charging public infrastructure or purchase a more modern electric car equipped with fast-charging technology.

Battery state of charge (SoC) is also critical to EV charging speeds. It refers to the ratio of your EV battery’s available capacity and the maximum charge it can hold. EV batteries with a higher SoC tend to charge slower than batteries with a lower SoC. As a higher SoC battery reaches its maximum capacity, the charging process has to be slowed to limit electrical strain and avoid damaging the battery.

As such, you don’t have to worry if your EV charges more slowly as it nears capacity. It’s a normal process designed to protect your battery from degradation and extend its lifetime.

On the other hand, temperature is a factor that does have the potential to damage your battery, especially if it is exposed to extreme temperatures for an extended period. Your battery management system will reduce charging speeds in high temperatures to prevent overheating and increase its longevity. Low temperatures reduce conductivity and efficiency in the battery and reduce the rate of charge. Furthermore, low temperatures force the battery management system to use more energy to raise the battery’s internal temperature to the optimal 20°C, which also increases charging times.

Additional loads such as heating, air conditioning, lights and the radio can also increase charging times because these loads continuously draw energy from the battery while it charges. Turning off these loads while you charge your EV can cut down your charging times. You can also improve your charging speed by choosing charger stations that currently aren’t being used by other motorists.

Plugging your EV into a charger that’s also servicing another car means the available power is split between two vehicles, which slows the rate of charge. Many electric vehicles also come with voltage limits that place a limit on their rate of charge. If your electric car has a low voltage limit, there likely isn’t anything you can do to increase its charging speeds. Switching to a newer model from carmakers such as Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: CENN) or another brand could allow you to own an EV that charges much faster.

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