Hand holding charger about to insert in car

Understanding The  Car Battery Memory Effect

Do electric car batteries have a battery memory effect? Plus, what is the ideal way to charge and discharge them to maintain full capacity for as long as possible?

Do electric car batteries have a battery memory effect? Plus, what is the ideal way to charge and discharge them to maintain full capacity for as long as possible?

Read about this and more here:

  • The lithium-ion batteries fitted in modern electric cars do not have a battery memory effect.
  • There are many ways of slowing down the natural ageing process of a battery.
  • Volkswagen provides a warranty of eight years or 160,000 kilometres4 on ID. series batteries.

What is the battery memory effect?

The battery memory effect is a problem that affects nickel-cadmium batteries. If they are only partially discharged before being recharged too often, their overall capacity is reduced. The battery “remembers” how much energy it is fed and then only charges to this lower level instead of its actual capacity. Nickel-metal hydride batteries exhibit a similar effect, albeit to a lesser extent, when frequently only partially discharged: they lose some performance, known as the 'lazy battery' effect.

The lithium-ion batteries that are used in the ID. seriesOpens an external link are considerably more technologically developed and are not comparable with nickel-cadmium batteries: they have no battery memory effect, plus they are smaller, lighter, and more durable. This is how Volkswagen guarantees that their batteries will still have at least 70% of their usable capacity after eight years or 160,000 kilometres.4

However, even modern batteries age and wear out over time. Therefore, we have put together here the most useful hints and tips for long battery life.

ID.3 parked in a shade
ID.3 Pro Performance : power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 13.5-12.9; CO 2 emissions in g/km: combined 0; Efficiency class: A+++. 

How to care for your battery day by day

Maintaining the capacity of your battery, and with it the range of your electric car is not complicated. You only need to charge and discharge it correctly and give it a little care.

1. Proper charging

Extremely high or low charge levels – an almost completely charged or discharged battery – lead to relatively high or low voltages in the battery cells. You should avoid this in the long run. Therefore, we recommend that you do not charge your battery to more than 80% if you only make short trips every day. We recommend a charge level of 30 to 80% if your electric car will stand idle for over twelve hours without charging.

2. Getting the timing right 

If you are going on a long journey, on holiday perhaps, then you should of course fully charge your vehicle. The best way to do this is to set a charge timer in your ID. series’ charge manager. This will give you full charge right when you set off.

3. The right charging speed

Excessive current puts a strain on your electric car's battery over time. So, when the charging time is less important – say when you park at home overnight – then slow, low-power charging will help to extend the life of your battery. Fast acceleration and long journeys at full throttle also use more electricity than a more relaxed driving style. Avoiding kick-downs also protects your battery.

4. The ideal parking space

Regardless of whether it is in your smartphone or your electric car, extremely high or low temperatures cause batteries to have a lower charging capacity. That is why it is worth looking for a shady parking space in summer and parking your car in a garage where possible in winter. And speaking of winter, it is best to charge your vehicle as soon as you have stopped driving as the battery will still be warm. We generally recommend an outside temperature of between 15 and 25 degrees.

5. Regular maintenance

Taking good care of your battery also includes regular maintenance in one of our specialist workshops. They will clean the connection pins and treat the battery with special lubricating grease.

Announcing the next generation

Battery development is ongoing. Researchers around the world are working on solutions for the next generation of batteries. Probably the most promising candidate is the solid-state battery. This has a higher energy density than current lithium-ion batteries and can be charged much faster. Volkswagen intends to start series production of solid-state batteries as early as 2024 in partnership with the American company QuantumScape.

Experience electric mobility

Curious about our ID. series? Then arrange a test drive or visit our online configurator to put together your dream electric car!

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