Should You Leave Your Electric Vehicle Plugged In While on Vacation? Best Practices and Tips for EV Owners
Title: Going on Vacation - Should You Leave Your Electric Vehicle Plugged In?
Preparing for a Vacation with an Electric Vehicle
When planning a vacation, electric vehicle (EV) owners often wonder whether they should leave their car plugged in or not. This concern arises due to the potential for battery drain over time, referred to as "vampire drain." The good news is that there are some best practices you can follow to ensure your EV remains in optimal condition while you're away.
Firstly, it's essential to set your car's charge level to around 50% before leaving. This percentage is considered the optimal state of charge (SOC) for preserving battery life and capacity. If you have access to charging at home, it's recommended to leave your EV plugged in during your absence. By doing so, all of the car's electrical needs will be supplied by shore power, including any overheat protection if needed and vampire losses from software cycling through sleep and idle modes. The charger will only cycle on to supplement any inherent drop in voltage while you're away.
Overheat Protection and Garage Storage
If you plan on storing your EV in a garage while you're away, it's important to consider the temperature within the space. While cabin overheat protection can help maintain a comfortable interior temperature, using this feature in an enclosed garage may cause issues. As the air conditioning system works to cool the car's interior, heat is expelled into the surrounding area. In an enclosed garage, this heat has nowhere to escape and could result in dangerously high temperatures.
To avoid this issue, refrain from using overheat protection when storing your EV in an enclosed garage. Instead, monitor the garage temperature and ensure it does not exceed dangerous levels. Remember that cabin overheat protection is different from simply leaving the air conditioning system running.
Managing Charging Schedules and Extended Absences
For those with scheduled charging enabled, it's important to note that the system should not initiate a charge cycle more than six hours past your set start time. This feature helps ensure that any power consumption due to overheat protection or vampire drain is replenished during off-peak hours.
If you're planning an extended absence of several months, it's still advisable to leave your EV plugged in and set the charge level to 50%. However, be aware that cabin overheat protection may only activate for up to 12 hours after you exit the car.
For EV owners without access to home charging, a week-long vacation should generally pose no significant issues. To be safe, ensure your vehicle is charged to around 50% before leaving and monitor its battery levels remotely if possible.
In conclusion, when preparing for a vacation, setting your EV's charge level to 50% and leaving it plugged in (if possible) are the best practices for maintaining battery health and avoiding unexpected issues upon your return. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind knowing that your electric vehicle will be ready for use when you get back.