5 min read

How to keep your electric vehicle healthy during the lockdown

by Onto|

I'm sure there are lots of questions whirling around your head right now, what should I have for dinner? Should I change out of my Pj’s for this Zoom meeting later? How stocked is Tesco at 3.30 pm? Sadly, we don't have the answers to the above, but we can answer this: How do I look after my EV battery when it's parked up for a long time?

Although EVs are known to be more low maintenance than ICE vehicles (internal combustion engines), both types of cars do not like being left unattended for long periods. 

Here are some tips on how you can keep your EV in shape until life is back to normal and you can take it out for long drives again.

Key takeaways:

  • Don't leave your EV charged up to 100%; this is bad for the battery if the car is left still for a long time. The electrolyte (battery acid) will degrade against the positive battery end when the cell is at high voltage.
  • Keep the battery between 80% and 50% charge. 80% turns to a low enough voltage to stop the battery acid from degrading over several weeks of no use. 
  • For Onto drivers, you can check your battery level from the Onto app.

I’ve got an Onto Tesla, what should I do?
If you have a Tesla with us, you’ll be pleased to know that we have a vehicle sleep mode feature. If you are not using your vehicle, we would recommend you to turn sleep mode on. For more information on what sleep mode is and the options explained, visit our sleep mode explained page.

What if my EV doesn't have a smart charging feature?

A lot of EV’s don’t offer smart charging features, if your EV sits under this category, try to keep an eye on your car at least once a week. If it’s running low, and you’re lucky enough to have a garage, top-up your car for a quick boost. 

Depending on the model of the car, if you can set your EV charging limit to 80%, you should be okay to leave the car plugged in (as long as the 80% rule is in place). The battery management system should regulate the charging pattern to give a gradual top-up rather than continually feeding the car.

If your car is currently between 50% and 20% level of charge, consider plugging in to stop your battery from discharging. If possible, take your EV for a short run every couple of weeks. Using your car for your essential food shop is a good chance for you to prevent any rust building-up on the brake discs, avoid flat spots on the tyres and also check on the battery charge levels.

Remember, if in doubt, you should always refer back to your car manual. 

We hope this simple guide is helpful, if you have any questions or tips you would like to share, please let us know!