EVLN: Charging rate affect pack life?> Zappi EVSE can match PV output

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EVLN: Charging rate affect pack life?> Zappi EVSE can match PV output

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Does the rate or type of electric vehicle charging affect battery life?
July 16, 2019  Bryce Gaton

tasmania chargesmart

Natalie from the ‘BZE Science and Solutions half-hour’ [
] on Melbourne radio 3CR has some more questions for us, after recently
taking delivery of her very own battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Hi Bryce: I have a few questions re battery care / optimising battery life.
I’ve heard different things about this, the latest being best battery care
will be achieved by mostly keeping the battery between 20 and 80 per cent

Is there anything in this?  Does type or rate of charging affect battery

On a similar topic, apparently there’s a Zappi EVSE coming out that’s 3
phase and charges at 22kW (Yippee! Although my max solar production is 10kW
so it would mean buying in the electrons).

Can all EVs charge at 22kW? If not, what would happen if you plugged it in
without realising?     And…

Charging safety – Is it safe to have the charger plugged into my car sitting
out in the pouring rain – any hazards to be aware of?

Hi Natalie – you do ask good questions!

The 22kW rate is only for three phase connected premises (= 7.2kW/phase). Do
you have a three phase connection?

Also, given you have a Hyundai EV, then having 22kW AC charging capacity is
moot: they can only do a maximum of single phase 7kW on AC charging (and
70kW on DC charging).

The only EVs to do three phase charging are the Renault Zoe (up to 22kW),
newer BMWi3 (up to 11kW) and Teslas. (Newer Teslas up to 16kW and older ones
could be optioned up with a 20kW charger).

You could, of course, buy an 11kW or 22kW DC charger to run on the 3 phase
system – but the extra charging speed is generally unnecessary for home
charging. (Let alone justify the cost of such a charger).

As to what would happen to your system if you were to plug a 3 phase 22kW
car into a 3 phase 22kW charger on your 10kW PV set-up… Well, the EV would
pull 22kW and thus draw 12kW from the grid (assuming the PV output was at
its maximum and there was no current drawn by the house – otherwise more).

On the other hand, the Zappi EVSE you mention is capable of being set to
throttle back the EV charge rate to match the PV output.

By the way, Hyundai is rumoured to be going to 3 phase 22kW next year – but
we’ll see.

Most EVSEs these days can be set at installation for a maximum rate of
charging (some can even be changed on the fly with a phone app) plus some
EVs have a setting for charge rate too. (Model 3 for instance can be set to
recharge at full speed at public AC chargers and a slower rate for home

Charging in the rain: While EV plugs and sockets are IP rated for outdoor
use, I’d still make sure they aren’t exposed to the full brunt of driving
wind and rain, or to leave any connections sitting in puddles. Light to
medium rain, etc, I would have no problem with.

Should I keep my EV battery charge within a 20-80 per cent range? I’d turn
the question around and ask who drives their fossil car to totally empty
every time or always fills the tank to the brim? Most of the time you’d only
be operating within that range anyway. It’s only on long trips that the 20%
and 80% boundaries would need to be crossed.

Is it better for the battery? The manufacturers build in buffers at either
end, so 20 per cent and 80 per cent on the gauge are not totally real
measures anyway. For instance, the Kona electric has a 69kWh battery, but is
billed as ‘64kW usable’.

In practice: draining to ‘empty’ and charging to ‘full’ does not seem to
affect battery life much, if at all.

It may well be ‘kinder’ to the battery if you charge to 80 per cent and just
charge to full when it’s really needed. (Just like you would rarely
completely fill an ICE vehicle.) But there is actually no empirical evidence
to support the need for keeping to a maximum of 80 per cent for EV charging.

Does charging type affect the life of the battery? DC fast-charging could be
a suspect here: being faster, it warms the battery much more than a standard
AC charge – and heat for anything electrical is the enemy.

In particular, early Leafs (2011 – 2014) did show this problem – but no
other manufacturers seem to have ever had it due to their incorporating
active cooling systems into their battery packs.

There was also what was called ‘Leafgate’ recently, where early 40kW Leafs
would throttle back the DC charging rate based on internal battery
temperature as Nissan appeared to still be nervous about this effect: but
later versions have had this ‘feature’ removed, or at least reduced.

(The Nissan Leaf is the only EV not to have any form of active cooling of
the battery pack – therefore it is the most likely candidate for battery
degradation due to excessive heat).

On the other hand – as mentioned above – no such effect has been shown for
any other EV. In Scandinavian countries, Teslas have been used as taxis
since 2014, and their experience with much higher than average DC charging
use is that it does not accelerate battery degradation.

For example, Finnish Tesla taxi driver Ari Nyyssönen has racked up an
impressive 400,000 kilometres in his – and still has 93 per cent of his
initial battery capacity.

To hear the Science and Solutions half-hour, in Melbourne you can tune to
855kHz on the AM dial between 8.30 and 9am on Fridays. Elsewhere you can
listen live via the web, or download the podcasts at
[© thedriven.io]
Zappi EVSE - myenergi  £695.00 to £845.00

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