As the electric vehicle industry is still relatively young (Tesla recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first Supercharger in Europe), there are still a lot of misconceptions and questions surrounding the batteries used to power EVs.
One such question is whether or not fast charging, also known as “DC charging” — which Tesla’s Superchargers employ — will damage the battery over time.
A new study published by Recurrent has revealed some good news for frequent Supercharger users.
After studying 12,500 Teslas, Recurrent concluded that “the results show no statistically significant difference in range degradation between Teslas that fast charge more than 90% of the time and those that fast charge less than 10% of the time.”
The data from the study also applies to EVs not made by Tesla, the researchers said. The upshot is: Don’t worry about plugging into that Supercharger — which will soon be available to more types of EVs than ever — and charging your EV as fast as possible.
Recurrent did caution, however, that an EV battery could be damaged by fast-charging during extreme heat, extreme cold, or when the battery is very close to empty or full.
DC (direct current) charging differs from AC (alternating current) charging in that it bypasses the car’s on-board charging system, limiting how quickly electricity can go into the battery. DC charging is almost exclusively available at high-tech public charging stations, such as Superchargers, while home chargers rely on slower AC charging.
Some of the confusion over battery degradation may have come from Tesla itself, as the EV company was recently rumored to have been lying about the range of its batteries, going so far as to rig the internal range-estimating software and create an entire “diversion team” to stop customers from making service center appointments when they realized that their ranges had abruptly dropped.
But the good news is that the health and life span of EV batteries seem to be getting better and better, based on this new study.
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