Last week I took my Nissan Leaf in for its first of three annual battery checks. While owning an electric vehicle (EV) means there’s minimal maintenance required, the battery check is one of those very important minimal maintenance requirements.
It’s basically a test to gauge how you are using the battery – charging, discharging (driving), and how many cycles you have put the battery through. The report gives a 1 – 5 star grade for each section.
The sections are: Charging, Driving, and Storage. On each section I received a 5-star rating. Let’s break down each, shall we?
Charging. Frequent use of quick charging. Frequent charging when battery state of charge is high.
What they mean: Quick charging refers to the use of 440V to charge the Leaf, generally versus using 240V or 110V to charge? It is generally understood that the more voltage applied to the battery the sooner the battery shows degradation.
Frequent charging when the battery is full, or what is referred to as topping-off. In order to avoid this, It’s recommended that you discharge (drive) the car’s battery to approximately 20% of capacity before recharging.
Driving. Too much electric consumption while driving.
What they mean: Do you drive with a lead foot? Which is really just rapid battery discharge. In order to make the car go, charge from the battery is provided to the electric motor, discharging the battery. The faster you accelerate, the more rapid the discharge.
Storage. Long-term parking with high state of charge.
What they mean: Exactly what it says. If you are storing your EV for a long period of time (30 days or more), Nissan recommends charging your battery to at least 50%.
I came out of my first of three battery checks with perfect marks, no signs of battery degradation, but bear in mind that the results from the battery test are more akin to a dummy light than a gauge.