How long can an EV sit without charging?

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EV's on charge in car park

Key points about EVs and batteries:

  • Lithium-ion batteries are good at preserving their power, but just like your mobile phone battery, they can suffer vampire battery drain.
  • EVs can be put into power-saving mode.
  • If you start with 80% battery your EV can be left for a month without major worry.
  • EVs lose around 0.5-1% of power in optimal conditions and 2-4% in sub-zero temperatures if all systems are active when left overnight.

Understanding your electric car’s battery life

In this article, we are going to look at how long an EV can sit without charging. We will also answer your question will my battery go flat if I leave my EV parked for too long?

Leaving your EV without charging

How long an EV can be left without charging depends on a few factors. What power mode the vehicle is left in, what systems are active, what the charge level was before leaving the car and the outside temperature.

Vampire Battery Drain

Vampire battery drain is the well-known term that has been given to energy loss that happens when an EV is parked. This is where your car never goes to sleep as it contains many computer systems. These systems do various things from monitoring the health of the car, sentry mode, and being ready to open the doors. All of these can sap power if not turned off while you’re away.

Energy loss in EV batteries

So the most efficient EV batteries lose roughly 0.5-1% of their charge in a 24-hour period, however in sub-zero temperatures that can be as much as 2-4%. So if you were to leave your EV for a week and you had the recommended 80% charge you would come home to just over a 50% charge if the temperature was sub-zero. In milder conditions, you would return with even more power left. Given these figures, if you parked your EV up with enough starting battery you could leave your car for 2 weeks and return with battery.

How to reduce EV battery drain?

So how can you reduce the amount of battery drain your EV experiences when you’re away? You could first park the car somewhere warmer and away from the elements. As the temperature can affect the battery trying to keep your car warm will help with energy loss. Using an app to connect to your car will also sap power each time you access it. Limiting your use of the app will help to save power. There are also some features that can be switched off when you park your vehicle. Turning these off will stop the car from using the battery. Some EVs also have a power-saving mode, putting your EV in this mode will further reduce the power your car loses.

So if you utilise some of the above tricks for EV energy loss you could effectively leave your EV without charge for months. However, we would always recommend you start with the optimum power that is stated by the car manufacturers regarding the starting charge percentage, usually, this is 80%.

If you have an EV but you’ve still not committed to your own home charger, get in touch today for a quote, we can usually fit an EV charger within a few days.

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