On Saturday, April 22, Nxu hosted an Earth Day open house and free charging event at its headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. Dozens of enthusiastic EV owners lined up to charge their vehicles at Nxu’s groundbreaking megawatt charging station, tour the facilities, and learn more about EV charging.
Victor Atlasman, Nxu’s Director of Engineering and Wizard of Charging Stations, brought up a few interesting ways to get the most out of your battery charging efforts. Here’s what he had to say, wrapped up in five fun facts about EV charging – including an EV battery myth-buster or two:
When charging, it’s important to precondition the battery. Various makes and models of EVs have a built-in preconditioning feature that will get the warming started, and many EVs have a built-in battery thermal management system (BTMS) that regulates the temperature automatically. To kick-in the preconditioning process without giving it much thought, set your GPS navigation in your EV to the nearest charging station and most vehicles will automatically precondition, he says. Pretty handy!
Charge It Up
Although some EV gurus may recommend charging your battery to 90 percent, Nxu’s stance is you can comfortably charge our batteries all the way to 100. Victor advises to charge to whatever level what you're comfortable with or the OEM's recommended value. Something important to note is that once your battery reaches around 80 percent, charging will slow down considerably and different charging methods, such as Level 1 (120Vac) or Level 2 (240Vac) or DC fast charging, will also affect charging rates. The slowing down of the charge is a phenomenon called trickle (aka taper or charging taper), which is based on several factors such as battery chemistry, temperature, and charging infrastructure. This is why it takes almost as long to get from 80 percent to 100 as it does to get from zero to 80. However, like most things in life, results can vary.
Get Good Intel
Whether you’re an EV noob or an EV guru, there’s a lot of info to sift through when it comes to what’s what in EV charging, but unfortunately a lot of it isn’t correct or is outdated. For example, your EV friends and some online sources may tell you that it’s best to avoid fast charging in hot weather since fast charging generates more heat and can stress the battery. However, this info is based on old, outdated information and is now considered an EV myth, like waiting three hours after you swim to avoid cramping, Victor says.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is almost here! So, what does this mean for EV owners, especially those of us in Arizona where it can hit 120°? Cold affects range more than heat does, says Victor. During the hotter months, it’s a good idea to park out of direct sunlight as much as you can help it, as the AC will have to work extra hard to cool down.
The thermal management system in your EV regulates the temp and will cool the battery and prevent overheating, but EVs may experience a decrease in driving range. The air conditioning system in an EV consumes energy and, in hot weather, it needs to work harder to cool the interior, further impacting the overall range. "It won’t have much effect on the battery itself, but if the car is hotter, it will take more power to cool it down,” Victor says.
Overall, when it comes to getting the best out of your charging efforts, Victor recommends planning ahead:
“Plan your routes and be comfortable with your local charging stations. Once you know your locations and reliability, reduce planning and be comfortable getting less of a charge. You'll get more bang for your buck, meaning the lower state of charge gets faster charging and you'll spend less time waiting, going from charger to charger. Use apps to view uptime and reliability before going to charging stations.”
Bummed you missed the Nxu charging event in April? Don’t worry, there will be others.