Heatwave Affects Millions of EV Batteries in Europe – In the last few days, there has been a lot of news milling about in the local and international media about the heatwave. The heatwave caused some and even many parts of Europe to experience higher than normal daily temperatures. For some areas, it even reaches 40 degrees Celsius. This is the highest temperature in Europe in history. Will the heatwave affect the millions of currently-used or new EV batteries in Europe? We will try to discuss it here.
What is Heatwave?
In simple terms, we can define heatwave as follows. A heatwave is an extension of the hot weather period that occurs every year. This condition is usually accompanied by very high humidity.
A heatwave most often occurs in the summer when high pressure passes through the area. High-pressure systems are slow moving and can stay over an area for long periods, eg several days. For certain conditions, this can happen for several weeks. These conditions increase the daily temperature in the region drastically. For some areas, it can even reach temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius.
Heatwave in Europe
Many countries in Europe experienced a heatwave in July this year. This is the most intense heatwave in the last 200 years. Even at a certain point in mainland Europe, the region has the highest temperature on Earth. Of course, the temperature exceeds the Sahara desert though.
A heatwave has roasted Portugal and Spain at temperatures over 38 degrees Celsius. This has happened since July 8, 2022. Meanwhile, Seville, Spain experienced higher-than-average temperatures in the country. The temperature in Seville reached 41 degrees Celsius for 4 days. This is not how much it turns out. In Pintao, Portugal, the temperature reached 47 degrees Celsius on July 14, 2022.
The UK’s also record high during peak heat is at Cambridge Botania Garden, reaching 38.7 degrees Celsius in 2019. Londoners will be feeling temperature peaks for almost the entire country for at least the next few weeks. Meanwhile, in Paris, France, things were worse than in England. For the next few weeks, temperatures in Paris could reach 40 degrees Celsius. This is like the heatwave that occurred in 2019. The French will likely cool off in the garden ponds around the Eiffel Tower.
A Heatwave not only hit Spain, England, Portugal, and France. Based on the following image data, we can see that there are at least 2 more countries that have suffered the same fate. The two countries are Germany and Italy. For these two countries, it can be seen from the picture that the temperature is probably below the other four European countries that we have discussed above.
Heatwave Affects Millions of EV Batteries in Europe
Europe is a collection of countries that have adopted electric vehicles as a whole. some countries in Europe (if not all) have agreed to stop buying ICE vehicles for the next few years. This means that currently, the EV is a vehicle that we will commonly encounter on European roads.
We all know that EVs use HV batteries to store power. The power from the HV battery is to drive the motor and bring the vehicle where the driver wants to take it. Unfortunately, a heatwave is one of the biggest enemies of HV batteries in both EVs and hybrids. It’s clear then that the heatwave is affecting millions of EV batteries in Europe today.
Read more: Causes of Easy Car Battery Heat in Your Car
Based on the research of several experts, we know that there is a decrease in the EV battery’s mileage at high temperatures. The average HV of the battery in both EVs and hybrids will reduce the ability in terms of mileage by up to 17% at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. In some calculations, it is stated that when the ambient temperature reaches 35 degrees Celsius, the battery is reduced by 1 degree. If every 1-degree increase in temperature from 35 degrees Celsius the battery capacity decreases by 1%, it is clear that when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius the battery capacity decreases by 5-6%. This is of the great value of course.
In such conditions, we can imagine how electric cars in Europe will face the heatwave in the space of a few weeks. It doesn’t stop there, heatwave will also have a direct impact on the life of the HV battery in EVs and hybrids.
Number of EV Vehicles Affected by Heatwave
The increase in the number of vehicles in Europe is very significant. In addition to regulations and the threat of energy scarcity, the European community is also known to have a high awareness of air pollution that comes from the combustion of ICE vehicles. So clearly using an EV or at least a hybrid vehicle is very appropriate and reasonable.
In 2019, overall in Europe, there were more than 800 thousand EV units. Two years later (2021), electric cars in Europe reached 1.325,000 units. So we can conclude that there was a 3.5% to 11% increase in new EV cars in Europe in just one year.
In addition to electric cars, there are still many electric vans circulating in Europe. However, the increase in the number of electric vans is not as big as the increase in electric cars. Electric vans are only experiencing an increase of 1.4% to 2.2% annually. This can be seen from the increase that occurred in 2019 which increased by 1.4%. Meanwhile, from 2019 to 2020, there was a 2.2% increase in new electric vans registered.
From the number of increases, it is clear that Europe will suffer heavy losses during the heatwave. Losses are directly related to mileage. Meanwhile, the long-term disadvantage is that the battery life of HV for both EVs and hybrids will decrease as well.
Tips for you in Heatwave Affects Millions of EV Batteries
Summer, especially when there is a heatwave like now, will bring hot weather. This is bad news for EV and hybrid car owners. Because hot weather or even heatwave can cause problems on your EV and hybrid. Through several research results, we can conclude that;
- Turning on your A/C reduces range by 17%, meaning that EV and hybrid drivers planning a 100-mile trip can only travel 83 miles in hot weather.
- EV and hybrid batteries degrade faster when we drive in hot temperatures, according to a study of 6,000 electric cars.
- July is the worst month for tire-related incidents, as hot weather affects your tire pressure – which can be even worse for EVs, as they are already heavier than petrol and diesel cars.
But don’t worry. If you take steps to protect your electric car when it’s hot, the health of your EV and hybrid will not be negatively affected. The top tips for protecting your electric car during the summer or even during the heatwave are as follows.
Read more: Why Does Hybrid Car Need 12 Volt Battery?
Park your car in the shade
Hot weather conditions can have a negative impact on the battery life of your EV. High temperatures can degrade lithium-ion batteries in both EVs and hybrids. It’s just like your phone’s battery if you leave it out in the sun too long.
To help your electric car cope with hot weather or even a heatwave, it’s best to park in the shade. If this is not possible, you can purchase a passive cooling system such as a sunshade for the windshield to keep the temperature of the car low.
To protect the battery life of your electric car this summer, keep it in the shade as long as possible. Especially when charging. Fast charging of your car at the station without shelter you should avoid. This is because the combination of accelerated current flow with hot weather can damage your battery in the long run.
If you’re going to be charging your EV in the summer, choose a slower charger like a standard 7kW unit and try to keep the car out of the sun. Install a home charger in your garage if you have access to a power meter from there.
Make Sure You Use ‘precondition’
A bonus feature you get with most modern electric cars is preconditioning. This is a setting available on most new EVs that allows you to cool the car cabin before going on a long trip. You can access preconditions in the electric car’s infotainment system, or via a connected smartphone app, depending on the capabilities of your model.
You need to remember that preconditioning works best when your car is plugged in overnight. Instead of drawing energy from your EV battery, it will be drawn from the mains, so your battery life will not be affected.
When you come to the car on a hot summer morning, you don’t need to turn on the A/C at full speed. Using the A/C at full speed can drain your battery faster.
Only charge your EV to 80%
As we mentioned earlier, electric car batteries are the same type in electronic devices like laptops and smartphones. So, when it comes to charging, there’s an optimal percentage you need to keep in mind to avoid overcharging – and therefore overheating – your EV battery.
Most manufacturers recommend not fully charging your electric car to 100%, otherwise, the battery may overheat. Pair this with high summer temperatures and you risk accelerating cell degradation (i.e. when lithium battery cells lose their capacity to charge at their original rate).
In hot weather (and all conditions for that matter), you should only charge your electric car to a maximum of 80%. An occasional full charge if you’re planning a long-distance summer trip is fine, but try not to get used to it if you want to keep your EV battery healthy.
Make sure to Use eco mode while driving
Most electric and hybrid cars have an eco-mode driver setting. This is a way to increase the efficiency of your EV. With this mode then you limit the amount of power you have for the electronic system and speed up, for example.
Since your electric car will use more energy in hot weather, using this mode – especially on long-haul trips – will significantly save your EV’s range. You can then spend less time stopping at charging points to recharge your batteries and enjoy your vacation.
Avoid driving between 11 AM to 3 PM
Can you drive in the morning or evening if you are planning for a summer vacation? By doing most of your trip during the cooler part of the day, you can reduce the amount of energy your EV uses. The hours between noon and 3 pm are usually the hottest, so try to avoid driving during this time.
Extreme temperatures drain more of your electric car battery, especially in the heat which can cause the unit to overheat and use more energy than usual. So if you can drive longer trips at lower temperatures, you’ll be able to maximize the range of your EV.
Check your tire pressure before driving
Electric cars tend to be heavier than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) models because of their battery packs. For example, the Volkswagen e-Up weighs 330kg more than the standard petrol version.
Of course, this means you have to be more careful about monitoring tire pressure when driving an EV. This is especially true in hot weather, where under-inflated tires can reduce efficiency. In the worst-case scenario, you could experience an explosion that threatens the safety of you and your passengers.
We recommend that you buy a tire pressure gauge for your car so you can easily check the PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) of your tires regularly (once a month and before long trips make sense). Otherwise, most fuel stations have air engines that allow you to do this for a small fee.