Is Fast Charging Bad for EV Battery?
The best method of slow charging uses low voltage and provides ample time for ions to stable, and it’s not the case with fast charging.
However, a study conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) concluded:” that while an electric car’s battery will deteriorate faster if it’s only power source is Level 3 charging (which is almost never the case) the difference isn’t particularly pronounced”.
EV battery chemistry affects the acceptance of high charge through a fast charger. Accepted and conventional wisdom also corroborates that frequent use of DC fast chargers will accelerate EV battery capacity to decline and degrade in the long run. It’s supported by a pretty sound idea that fast charging produces heat, and extended expels of heat for prolonged times speed up the Lithium-ion batteries‘ degradation.
Fast charging supports the best use of long-range and public transportation worldwide. Most modern electric vehicles have built-in Battery Management Systems that monitor overall temperature, voltage, and ion balance to keep the battery’s health intact.
Experts argue that slow charging is the best method for EV charging because it uses low voltage and allows enough space for ion stabilization. Using DC fast chargers for occasional charging will not harm the battery in the way it would if used excessively.
Is Level 3 Charging Bad for the Battery
Some EV manufacturers use air conditioning technology to maintain battery temperature. At the same time, some other EVs are designed to use liquid coolant to dissipate the build-up of excessive heat inside battery packs. It helps keep the battery operating temperature to its ideal level, which improves the EVs mileage and battery longevity.
Some manufacturers have warned their clients of dire consequences if they walk by fast chargers, like EV owners of Kia and Hyundai will see the owner’s manual, which clearly states:
“Battery performance and durability can deteriorate if the DC Charger is used constantly. Use of DC Charge should be minimized in order to help prolong high voltage battery life.”
Ford Mustang Mach E also states in its guide:
“We recommend limiting the amount of DC charges. Frequent use of DC charging could result in reducing your battery’s efficiency and lifespan. The vehicle monitors battery health and may take actions including, but not limited to, reducing the DC fast charge rate to protect the battery hardware from damage, and to maintain battery health.”
“The peak charging rate of the Battery may decrease slightly after a large number of DC Fast Charging sessions.”
DC fast charging, of course, cat be detrimental in some exceptional conditions, and that is if you rely solely on DC fast charging. EV batteries usually perform in temperatures between 70-80 °F (20–25 °C). The provision of more power during the fast charging generates heat, having some downsides for the battery.
EVs cooling system is enabled to neutralize this effect, and for better battery performance, charging from Level 2 is always recommended by most concerned people. It’s not as many adverse effects of Level 3 as you are asked to believe.
According to the Kia Auto website, “DC fast charging frequent use can badly harm the EV battery, and its highly recommended the minimum use of fast charging.
A public Level 3 fast charger can fill an EV battery up to 80% in a while of 30 to 60 minutes, depending on certain conditions, including vehicle type, battery size, and outside temperature. Outside cold temperature hinders charging speed and EV range.
Fast chargers employ a variety of connector combinations. Models from Asian manufacturers use a connector named CHAdeMO, while US EVs use SAE Combo Plug. Most of the fast charging stations support both types of connectors.
On the other hand, Tesla uses another type of connector for its Superchargers, exclusive to its EVs. Tesla EV owners, however, are at liberty to use other than Tesla charging stations via an adopter that is available with the Tesla EV.
DC fast chargers use DC energy to charge the EV battery quickly. It, however, constantly communicates with the electric vehicle and keenly monitors the battery charge of state and charge of health, and delivers as much power as the battery can receive. It also keeps a stringent check on the flow of electricity and does not let the charging system overwhelm and harm the battery.
The battery warms, and the kilowatts flow increases after the charging is initiated to the battery’s maximum output. The charging speed will be slowed if the vehicle doesn’t allow such an amount of energy. Once the charging reaches 80%, it slows down, acting like a Level 2 charger known as fast charging curve.
Cost to Install a Level 3 Charging Station
Installing cost of a level 3 charging station varies widely depending on several factors, including the location, power requirements, and permitting costs. Generally, the cost can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more. Some utility companies may offer incentives or rebates to offset the installation costs.
How Much Does DC Fast Charging Cost
The faster the charging is, the Higher the cost will be.
Earlier, free EV charging was available mainly to promote the eco-drive industry, and now pay-per-use EV chargers can be found everywhere. But the question is, what would be the cost of EV charging? Determining the exact charging cost looks only next to impossible as multiple factors contribute to this decision. However, a brief rundown of the topic is given below.
The exact cost of slow-charging EV batteries at homes depends entirely on the cost of local energy. The average national energy cost is nearly 16 cents p/kilowatt hour. Fast charging is more costly than slow charging and costs twice as much as a Level 2 charger, but it is still cheaper than filling a gas tank.
Fast chargers charge your battery to complete in less than an hour, costing $10-30 for a single full charge. Due to expensive installation, Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) are rare, and a 50kW charger will take 48 minutes to fill a 40 kWh/100 miles with a cost from $6.24-$16.80, still depending on where you are going to charge. Same charging—using a 350 kW DC fast charger—will only take 7 minutes, costing from $1.83 to $6.90 for an additional 100 miles.
It compares to $10.00 to $13.30 for a gas-only vehicle that attains 30 mpg, costing $3 to $4 per gallon to fill up. The need for fast chargers is the need of the hour, particularly when away from home. Considering the US average household for 2022 of about 15 cents p/kWh, per month, EV charging cost would be around $59.
Level 3 DC Fast Charger for Home
Level 3 fast charger is in no way suitable for installation at homes. It’s wholly designed for installation at commercial and industrial levels. It is costly and requires high-power transmission lines with three-phase electricity.
Very few residential areas can be seen with such a massive power supply. Further, certain security risks are associated with it, which looks hard to tackle if installed at homes. Certification from some concerned departments is also part and parcel of its installation.
Level 3 chargers require specialized equipment and labor, trained to operate, and equipped to tackle untoward situations. It’s most suited to high public access areas, highways, bus terminals, airports, and large commercial shopping malls.
However, if someone insists on its home installation in any —yet not to be —case, he may consult the charging station installation network.
DC Fast Charger Cost Per kWh
Generally, a public charging station charging costs $1.50 per hour on a level 2 and 26 cents per minute by fast charging in California. Considering this price schedule, it will cost 8¢ p/mile for a 40 kWh battery with a 150-mile range on a level 2 charger, and the same will be done in 9¢ by fast charging.
150 kW dc Fast Charger Price
From $28,000 to $140,000 for different categories.
It’s the cost range of DC fast chargers with different kW of power. Charging power measured in kilowatt-hours, site work for charger installation, fast charger brand, and labor rates are the primary factors deciding the eventual DC fast charger cost.
According to the Council of Clean Transportation, DCFC may cost 28,000-140,000 US dollars. Installation costs may significantly increase or decrease based on the charger’s kilowatt capacity and other features. Under given are, however, the general rates of fast chargers with different kWs.
- DCFC 50kW – $28,000
- DCFC 150kW – $75,000
- DCFC 350kW – $140,000
Some other sources keep divergent views for the cost of fast chargers and state $40,000 for a 50 kW and $400,000 for a 350 kW fast charger.
EV charging station network installs the fast charging station, requiring a 480V transformer with labor hours exceeding 40 hours.
Is Fast Charging Bad for Battery Tesla?
Tesla claims its batteries retain over 80 to 90% of their capacity even after driving 200,000 miles. Level 3 fast charger harms Tesla batteries as other EVs with liquid cooling systems.
Is fast charging bad for Tesla batteries largely depends on the EV battery cooling system type. Most Tesla models use a liquid cooling system to cool their batteries and motors.
It’s the most complex and efficient cooling mode, keeping the operating temperature between 20 to 40ºC and the inside battery pack temperature difference less than 5ºC. It prevents the temperature from operating outside this range which otherwise stimulates fast degradation and battery deterioration.
Furthermore, frequent use of DC fast chargers may harm battery health in the long run, and its occasional use can be ignorable.
Fast Charging Destroys the Battery.
Frequent and repeated visits to DC fast charging stations can shorten the range and life of EV batteries. Some researchers, after battery experiments, claimed to ruin the battery capacity even after 25 fast charging.
EV batteries are volatile, and as much you keep them happy, as long these tend to yield more. Always try to keep the charging level of your battery from 20 to 80% and use battery charging best practices for good battery health.
Slow Charger vs. Fast Charger EV Battery
Levels 1 and 2 use alternating current, and the car converts it into direct current. Level 3 charger, instead, directly supplies direct current for charging the battery, allowing it to charge quicker. This type of charger is highly sensitive against slow chargers —and closely monitors and communicates the EV to which it is attached. It only delivers the required amount of power to the battery.
Slow chargers take hours to charge the battery to the maximum, while Level 3 fills the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes. Level 3 EQS 450 fills the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes.
Slow chargers provide AC energy, and fast charger supply DC energy directly to the battery. As against slow chargers that only use 120V, fast chargers use a much higher voltage of 480V.
What is the Disadvantage of Fast Charging?
The primary disadvantage of fast charging, such as level 3 or 4 charging, is that it can potentially reduce the lifespan of an EV battery due to the high charge rate. Fast charging can also generate heat, further depleting the battery if it is not appropriately managed. Additionally, slower charging options may be more widely available than faster charging stations.
The Crux of the Matter
Fast charging, such as level 3 or 4, can potentially harm an EV battery if used excessively or if the battery is not designed to handle the high charge rate. However, modern EVs are designed to handle fast charging, and when used appropriately, fast charging should not significantly impact battery health.
Furthermore, how effective is the mode of the Thermal Management System of the EV and the method of the battery cooling system have a role to play in this effect. Following manufacturer recommendations and avoiding excessive fast charging is essential to prolong the battery’s lifespan.
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