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Hi Forum Members,

I have searched on this forum and on the internet, but have not yet found the following question answered:

Will the battery on the car be adversely affected if a charger is left plugged even after the car has reached "full" with the Hilltop Reserve setting on? I am predominately interested in knowing if the battery conditioning and longevity will be impacted if, say, I charge my car from 50% to 90%, but then leave it there to run errands for another 1-2 hours. During that last 1-2 hours, is there any harm done?

I use ChargePoint.

-Jon
 

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12/16 build, 2017, white LT
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Hi Forum Members,

Will the battery on the car be adversely affected if a charger is left plugged even after the car has reached "full" with the Hilltop Reserve setting on?
No. The manufacturer actually suggests you leave it plugged in. The charger is doing nothing once the car stops the charge. It will supply power, if the car requests it, to offset power used heating or cooling the battery, and charging the accessory 12 volt battery.
 

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Based on postings on this site and further readings on other sites, the common wisdom is to not charge to 100% every time, but to turn on hilltop reserve (which stops the charging at about 87%) in order to maintain the longevity of the battery pack. So, no direct harm, just reduced battery life.

Interestingly, my old 2013 Volt prevented ever fully charging the battery (even though the battery gauge would read full), towards preserving the battery in the long term. I originally thought this was the case with the Bolt as well but it appears not.
 

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Based on postings on this site and further readings on other sites, the common wisdom is to not charge to 100% every time, but to turn on hilltop reserve (which stops the charging at about 87%) in order to maintain the longevity of the battery pack. So, no direct harm, just reduced battery life.

Interestingly, my old 2013 Volt prevented ever fully charging the battery (even though the battery gauge would read full), towards preserving the battery in the long term. I originally thought this was the case with the Bolt as well but it appears not.
The Bolt does have unused battery capacity, limited by the charging software. A 100% charge does not use 100% of the battery’s actual capacity. There is no definitive answer as to how much “headroom” GM has designed into the battery management software, most estimates I’ve seen are in the 5% to 10% range.
 

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The Bolt does have unused battery capacity, limited by the charging software. A 100% charge does not use 100% of the battery’s actual capacity. There is no definitive answer as to how much “headroom” GM has designed into the battery management software, most estimates I’ve seen are in the 5% to 10% range.
Thanks for that! Now I know why on the Bolt battery pack itself it indicates 57kWh: because the difference between that and the true capacity (60 kWh) is 5% (3 kWh) of the total capacity, or what is held back! ?
 

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Thanks for that! Now I know why on the Bolt battery pack itself it indicates 57kWh: because the difference between that and the true capacity (60 kWh) is 5% (3 kWh) of the total capacity, or what is held back! ?
I have no idea what the actual capacity is, or what percentage is unused. I do know that it makes sense for any EV manufacturer to limit the battery charge to some percentage below the actual battery capacity, as that will help ensure a longer battery life and minimize battery degradation.
 
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