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Electric vehicle drivers have been advised to consider unplugging their vehicles during the current period of lockdown, to avoid potential EV battery damage.

“General manufacturer advice is that if 100% battery range is not required for your journey, you David Watts Arval.should routinely charge to no more than 80% to reduce battery degradation and maintain its efficiency over time,” said Arval consultant David Watts. “Therefore, it is recommended that if the EV is unused for an extended period – as is likely to happen during the lockdown – it is not left plugged in and charging continuously to keep it at 100%. This has the potential to damage the battery.”

Watts said that though the advice will be obvious to experienced EV users, there has been a big recent increase in the number of drivers taking a plug-in vehicle for the first time that may not be aware of the risk.

“During long periods of relative inactivity such as we are likely to see during the lockdown, all EVs will experience a degree of battery charge loss or self-discharge over time due to power drain from electronics within the vehicle, generally in the region of 2% per month,” Watts continued. “However, the level depends on the car or van and the mode in which it has been left – such as standby or shutdown.”

Most EVs can be charged to a maximum level set by the user, to avoid repeated charging to 100%, but maintaining a level that allows the car to be used as required.

Meanwhile, the improvement in air quality due to lockdowns around the world is driving more people to reconsider electric vehicles, according to Venson Automotive Solutions. It said 45% of those surveyed felt it was leading them to reassess, and of that, 42% claimed their next car purchase would be electric.