Should I Charge My Electric Car Every Night?

When owning an EV, you want to ensure you do everything you can to get the most out of it and look after it. One question we often get asked is, should I charge my electric car every night?

In this guide, we will answer that question, consider an EVs needs when it comes to charging and the advantages and disadvantages of charging every night. 

Let’s get going…

Electric Cars And Their Charging Needs

Black car charging

The short answer is no, you shouldn’t charge your electric car every night as it isn’t ordinarily necessary and can actually decrease the lifespan of the car’s battery pack in the electric car.

It’s important that you keep your battery charged regularly in your electric car, but you don’t need to go overboard with it. We always recommend never letting your EV’s battery drop below 20% and never going above 80%. 

We advise this for the long-term benefits of the battery, as between 20-80% is when the lithium-ion batteries are at their most efficient. You can always charge your EV to 100% but long term, electric cars don’t benefit from getting charged to the max. An electric vehicle also has battery management systems which is a type of EV battery technology that stops it from charging when it reaches the maximum. 

Unless you are doing a lot of driving daily, there is no reason for charging electric car batteries every night, the range on an EV usually is very good and will last a couple of days minimum before you get down to that 20% mark.

Factors to Consider Before Charging Your Electric Car Every Night

Below is a list of factors you need to think about the next time you go to charge your electric vehicle:

  • Battery Capacity – The size of the battery in the electric car will affect how quickly your EV charges, the larger the EV battery, the longer it will take if you were to use the same power output. If you have a small city car with only a 40kWh battery compared to a car with a 75kWh battery, the city car would charge quicker.
  • Electricity Rates & Costs – Depending on your energy tariff will determine how much you are paying per kilowatt. If you were to charge your electric car at night, it would be cheaper than during the day due to fewer people using the Grid.
  • Environmental Impact – As we all know, electric cars are far better for the planet than petrol and diesel vehicles, but if you don’t need to charge daily, then there’s no point just for the sake of it.

Benefits of Charging Daily

Convenience And Peace of Mind

For EV drivers who have range anxiety and are fearful of their EV battery dying in the middle of nowhere, charging every night is a safe option. You can wake up knowing that you have a minimum of 80% charge in your electric car rather than, say 50% if you had left your EV overnight not charged.

Maximising Driving Range

This allows you to know that you have the vehicle’s maximum driving range available for that day, it could be 180 miles or 260 miles for example. Either way, you know how far you can drive before having to top up.

Risks of Charging Nightly

Overcharging and Overheating Risks

One of the fundamental issues is overcharging if you don’t set a limit on when you want the charging to stop. If you’re charging every night, this will increase the number of charge cycles you go through, ultimately decreasing the battery’s lifespan. 

Decreased Battery Performance and Lifespan

Secondly, with your battery going to max charge on your EV every night, this decreases the battery life over several years and will decrease the driving range of your electric car. For example, if it had an electric car range of 200 miles when you bought it, it might decrease to 175 miles after a few years.

Increased Electricity Costs 

It’s no shock that if you’re charging your EV nightly, you will end up paying more than someone who charges their car every few days. Depending on the tariff you are on will determine what sort of prices you will be paying.

Best Practices for Charging Your Electric Car

Understanding Your Vehicle’s Capabilities

Find out what sort of time it will take to charge your EV to a certain point, say 80%. Then you can set a timer for it to stop as soon as it reaches this point, this will save you money and help preserve your battery in your electric vehicle. 

Choosing The Right Charging Equipment

Make sure you have a reliable charging unit installed on your home, there are several brands out there offering different features, with most having a power output of 7kW for charging your lithium ion battery packs, but some can go up to 22kW for those who want faster charging for electric vehicles.

Monitoring Charging Levels 

EV owners need to ensure they keep an eye on what level you want your electric vehicle to charge to. Make sure you don’t let the battery go to zero and find out what sort of charging percentage and charging cyles you need day to day to carry on with your routine.

Conclusion

We hope this helped answer the question should I charge my electric car daily and as you can tell, we personally wouldn’t recommend charging your electric car every night unless it was absolutely necessary and even so, we wouldn’t let the battery fall below 20% charge and we wouldn’t go above 80% charge in order to get the most out of the electric vehicles lithium ion batteries.

It’s all about weighing up the factors of convenience, performance, cost and sustainability for your electric car. Depending on your daily life will determine whether you realistically actually need to charge your electric car batteries every night, some don’t but will still do it, whilst others only charge every few days at charging stations.  

Learn more about green car living with this comprehensive category page, where we answer all different question regarding electric vehicles and most EV chargers.

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Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.