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As the peak summer months loom closer, it’s crucial to diligently prepare and
maintain electric vehicles (EVs). The intense heat of summer poses significant
challenges for all types of vehicles, whether they are fueled by gasoline, electricity, or
a combination of both. The relentless heat from the sun can cause considerable
damage, leading to decreased efficiency and potential long-term consequences.
In India, the summer season brings its own unique challenges that EV owners must
address to protect their batteries.

EVs rely on lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery traction packs to power their drivetrains. These batteries operate most effectively within a temperature range of 60° to 95° F (15° to 35° C). Beyond 95° F (35° C), EV Li-ion batteries typically begin to overheat, resulting in faster discharge rates, reduced energy storage capacity, and inefficient power delivery over time.

At higher temperatures, the movement of ions within the batteries accelerates,
hindering effective binding to anodes and cathodes. Temperatures exceeding 104° F
(40° C) jeopardize the integrity of the anode’s passive emission layer and expedite
liquid electrolyte depletion. Extreme heat causes microcracks, slows critical chemical
reactions, and shortens battery lifespan.

Hot climates also elevate internal battery resistance, prolonging charge times and
diminishing EV range. According to a recent study, average range loss at 80°F (26.7°
C) amounts to 2.8%, increasing to 5% at 90° F (32.2° C) and a substantial 31% at 100° F (37.8° C).

Additionally, high temperatures can impede regenerative braking efficiency, as the battery’s charge acceptance may decrease to prevent overheating. While some EVs
incorporate advanced thermal-management systems to mitigate this issue, adhering
to manufacturer-recommended adjustments to regenerative braking settings
generally ensures optimal performance and battery integrity in hot climates.

Electric vehicles offer a promising solution to combat climate change challenges,
particularly in developing countries where energy costs are high and reliance on
fossil fuels is prevalent. However, the elevated temperatures in these regions can
pose a significant obstacle to the growth of the electric vehicle market. Battery
lifespan is greatly affected by the state of charge (SOC) when parked in high
temperatures, and the replacement of EV batteries can escalate vehicle maintenance
costs.

The heat issues with lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles can limit their use,
especially when they need a lot of power. This article looks at why these batteries get
hot and how it affects them. It also talks about cooling systems that can help
manage heat. When designing these systems, it’s important to consider how
much the battery heats up during different situations, like when driving fast on hot
days. Keeping the battery temperature between 15°C and 35°C and the temperature
difference below 6°C is important to prevent the battery from wearing out quickly.

There are different cooling methods, but each has its pros and cons. Air cooling is
simple and cheap but doesn’t work well for big battery packs. PCM cooling keeps
temperatures even but can be tricky to manage. Liquid cooling is the most effective
but adds cost and complexity. Evaporative cooling could be a good compromise with
more research.

High temperatures, humidity, and strong sunlight can harm EV batteries. This article
gives tips on how to take care of your EV battery during hot summer months. Even
when your EV is not in use, its battery is still working, and heat can speed up its aging process. Charging your EV quickly, especially in hot weather after long drives, can make the battery age faster. It’s best to avoid fast charging in these conditions.

Some EVs need to be plugged in to activate their internal cooling systems, so it’s
important to know what your EV requires from the manufacturer.

Researchers are still learning about how extreme heat affects EV batteries. Even
though some battery types, like lithium iron phosphate, may handle heat better, they
still wear out faster in extreme conditions. While this might not immediately ruin the
battery, being in extreme heat regularly can make the battery worse over time.

Understanding How Heat Affects EV Batteries

Hot temperatures can speed up chemical reactions inside EV batteries, making them
wear out faster. This can show up as a decrease in how much energy the battery can
store, less distance the EV can travel on a single charge, and not working as well
overall. In really bad cases, being in heat for a long time can ruin the battery
permanently. The hot Indian summer, with its strong heat and dry weather, adds
extra challenges for EV batteries, like getting too hot and wearing out faster.

Before diving into actionable tips, let’s unravel the intricacies of how heat exacerbates
battery deterioration. High temperatures serve as a catalyst for accelerated chemical
reactions within battery cells, hastening the degradation process. This degradation
manifests in various forms, including diminished capacity, reduced range, and
compromised overall performance. In extreme cases, prolonged exposure to heat can
inflict irreparable harm upon the battery, undermining its longevity and efficiency.

As the summer season approaches, ensuring the optimal performance and longevity
of electric vehicle (EV) batteries becomes paramount. The intense heat and humidity
prevalent during this time pose significant challenges, necessitating comprehensive
strategies for battery maintenance. In this technical guide, we’ll explore advanced
techniques and practices for safeguarding EV batteries during the summer months,
leveraging cutting-edge technology and meticulous maintenance protocols.

1. Strategic Parking Measures

– Shade Seek: Prioritize parking your EV in shaded areas to minimize exposure to
direct sunlight, which can elevate temperatures and accelerate battery degradation.

– Garage Sanctuary: Utilize garage parking whenever available, providing an
enclosed environment that shields the vehicle from both heat and sunlight.

2. Vigilant Cooling System Maintenance

– Regular Oversight: Conduct routine inspections of the cooling system to ensure
optimal functionality. Monitor coolant levels and promptly address any signs of leaks
or malfunctions to prevent overheating.

– Load Management: Avoid overloading the EV, as excessive weight can strain the
cooling system, especially under high temperatures.

3. Adherence to Charging Best Practices

– Gradual Charging: Opt for gradual charging methods over fast charging to
minimize heat generation and alleviate stress on the battery.

– Temporal Consideration: Schedule charging sessions during cooler intervals, such
as early mornings or late evenings, to mitigate heat-induced strain on the battery.

4. Meticulous Battery Management:

– Optimal Charge Levels: Maintain the battery charge within the recommended
range of 20% to 80% to promote longevity and prevent accelerated degradation.

– Software Updates: Stay updated with firmware upgrades for the EV’s battery
management system to leverage the latest performance optimizations and thermal
management algorithms.

5. Cultivation of Prudent Driving Habits

– Gentle Maneuvering: Adopt smooth driving techniques, avoiding aggressive
accelerations and abrupt braking maneuvers that can generate excess heat within
the battery.

6. Proper Maintenance of Batteries

– Early Anomaly Detection: Employ battery testing kits like EV DOCTOR
to monitor the battery’s health and performance metrics continuously. Detect anomalies such as irregular temperature fluctuations or voltage
deviations early to prevent potential damage.

– Data-Driven Insights: Utilize the comprehensive data provided by battery testing
kits to gain insights into battery health, safety, and performance, facilitating informed
decision-making.

– Proactive Maintenance Regimen: Implement a proactive maintenance regimen
based on the insights derived from battery testing kits, optimizing battery health and
ensuring sustained performance.

Conclusion

Navigating the challenges posed by India’s sweltering summers requires a holistic
approach to EV battery care. By integrating advanced strategies, leveraging
technology such as EV DOCTOR, and adhering to meticulous maintenance protocols,
EV owners can safeguard their battery’s vitality and performance. With proactive
measures in place, EVs can continue to operate efficiently, even in the face of
formidable climatic conditions, ensuring a seamless driving experience throughout
the summer months and beyond.

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