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Battery charged 100%

3741 Views 24 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  bww129
About a month ago I bought the Chevrolet Bolt EV, I have heard that charging the battery 100% can cause damage to it. The manual says nothing about it. That's right?
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A "charge cycle" is full-empty-full. If you are cycling 60-40-60, that's only 20% delta, which is much less stressful than 100%. In fact, cycling 60-40-60 five times is better than 100-0-100 one time.
This is a key fact that most people have a hard time understanding about Lithium based batteries. Battery chemistries differ to suit what the manufacturer wants from the cells, but the overall trend seems to hold true. The assumption is that your car will be used on a regular basis. Keeping your battery at full, or worse at empty, for extended periods of time (months), is also detrimental to cell health. This has also been shown in various studies, however each cell chemistry is different. Based on various articles, it seems as though GM specified a more mediocre cell chemistry to allow future expansion to higher energy density cell chemistires (more mi/kW) whereas Tesla chose a more aggressive chemistry but is dialing back the range because some users are pushing the batteries too hard. It's all a trade off in the auto industry, but I'm hoping GM played it on the safe side because we hope to own our Bolt for another 8-10 years after which we would consider battery service (individual cells, hopefully not the whole pack) part of the typical EV maintenance.
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You can probably increase the life of the battery by not fully charging or discharging, but I don't think the level of degradation that occurs is of concern to the average user.
That's exactly why Chevy said up to 40% (from what I remember reading on here somewhere) degradation is acceptable over the 8 year warranty. It should cover 99% of cars sold if the cells are manufactured and assembled properly regardless of how the average user charges and discharges the battery. But what if you want to keep your car for longer (not the average user)? I had my last car for 18 years. Seems like a great idea to minimize degradation as much as possible so it still has good range well after the warranty runs out. If you don't plan on keeping the car for very long then you probably don't care, but the poor sap who gets the car after you will.
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