Like all new technologies, the booming electric mobility – more than every sixth new car is now an electric vehicle – raises new questions. If you switch from a combustion engine to a newly bought electric car, you first have to get used to it and often make mistakes, for example when charging: But that’s not good for the battery and budget. Blick explains the biggest charging errors – and how to do it better at the charging station.
1. Always fully charge
As with the smartphone, the battery should be operated in the range of 20 to 80 percent charge level for the purpose of service life. Deep discharge – especially below five percent – and full charge – especially over 95 percent – is practical on long journeys, but should remain the exception. And: Don’t park the car for a long time with an almost empty battery.
2. Load unnecessarily often
Rechargeable batteries are designed for a certain number of charging cycles and each insertion starts a new one. Like frequent cold starts with a combustion engine, frequent charging cycles shorten battery life. So it is better to go from 20 to 80 once than only charge 20 percent of the capacity three times in a row.
3. Unnecessarily fast loading
Fast charging usually (there are exceptions) puts more stress on the battery than slow charging. The manufacturers’ wall boxes are ideally tailored to an optimal and gentle charging process – and they are also cheaper, especially since the charging losses are much lower than with the fast charger.
4. Not knowing tariffs
The confusing price structure of many providers is a real stumbling block in e-mobility: Countless tariff models, information that is difficult to find or charging roaming with a provider’s card from a third-party provider – similar to telephoning abroad – are real cost traps. Then a full battery can be almost as expensive as filling up the petrol tank.
5. Overlook free loader
Anyone who does not generate electricity themselves, for example using solar power, pays for it. But you could often charge for free – you just have to ask or newsylist: Many hotels, companies or shops offer their customers free charging stations.
6. Place cables incorrectly
You only make this mistake once – but even this one time it’s better to avoid it: the charging cables are often in the compartment under the floor of the luggage compartment. Like warning triangles and the like, the cables should be stowed away so that they are easily accessible. Even if you’ve packed the trunk for the holidays. After all, some models have a so-called frunk – a small cargo space under the front hood – in which the cables fit.
7. Block charging stations
Not only is it inconsiderate, it can also be expensive: charging stations should be evacuated when the charging process is complete. Otherwise, providers usually charge penalties of up to one franc per minute shortly after the end of charging. By the way: You are not allowed to stand at charging stations without charging.
8. Do not unlock
Some newer electric cars (e.g. Skoda Enyaq and the related Stromer from the VW Group) can be programmed in such a way that the charging plug is released after charging is complete. With two spaces at one charging station, someone else can charge before you drive away again.
9. Do not use off-peak tariffs
Almost all e-cars can be programmed to charge when the car is plugged in at home. So you can use the low tariff of the power grid. For example, charging per 100 kilometers will only cost three instead of five francs.
10. Fast charging too soon
Especially if you don’t quite trust the range yet, you tend to charge too quickly when travelling. But if the battery level is still too high, the charging capacity sometimes drops considerably, and then charging sometimes takes twice as long as predicted in the brochure. By the way: If you use the navigation system to plan charging stops, modern e-cars prepare the battery temperature perfectly for fast charging.