13 May 2020

We are experiencing some very unusual circumstances, and hope that you and your family are healthy and well. It might give you a bit of comfort to know that while we are locked inside, nature seems to be thriving. However, while the coronavirus lockdown might be great for the environment, it might not be so good for your electric vehicle (EV). This is why taking care of your EV during the Covid-19 lockdown is so important.

Whilst there are currently fewer EVs on the roads than tradition internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, the uptake has increased in the last decade. These figures are expected to go up even more with the UK Government committing to an emissions-free future, as evidenced by the Road to Zero strategy.

So, with EV ownership on the rise, it’s important to know how to maintain your EV during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Does your EV need extra care during the lockdown?

Unlike vehicles that burn fossil fuels, EVs don’t have many moving parts. This is why they don’t require a lot of regular maintenance. However, that does not mean you should not care for your EV at all.

Fortunately, most of the maintenance your EV requires depends on how many miles it has driven. However, there is one key component that needs more care if your car is not being used: the battery.

If you’ve owned a traditional ICE car, you might have experienced a dead battery if you’ve left your vehicle standing too long. Since the battery is the most important (and expensive) part of an EV, you can understand why you need to maintain your EV during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Why do car batteries need maintenance if the car is not being used?

One would assume that a battery that is not being used will not lose power. However, when it comes to vehicles, the battery is running more than just the car. It is also responsible for powering on-board systems that remain active even when the car is parked.

The reason why you need to take care of your electric car during the Coronavirus lockdown is because of standby drain.

Also known as ‘vampire drain’, this is the phenomenon where your battery loses an insignificant amount of power to keep applications like the security system, low-level computer systems, telematics, etc. powered up. Over the course of one night, this amount is tiny enough to not make any significant difference.

However, when it continues to happen for a longer period of time (such as not being driven for days in a lockdown), you will find your car unable to start when you need it.

Display showing drained battery

How can you prevent your EV’s battery from draining during the lockdown?

The best way to prevent your EV’s battery from draining is to charge it regularly. If you have smart charging, you can even leave it plugged in. The reason for this is that car batteries are best charged to around 80%, and this is something a smart charger can control while a regular charger cannot.

By charging your EV battery from time to time, you can ensure that it has adequate power when you do need to drive it.

However, at the same time, you need to make sure that you’re not charging it to over 80%, as that can affect the life of your car’s battery. If you don’t have a smart charger, remember to unplug your EV!

What else can you do to maintain your vehicles during the Covid-19 lockdown?

Some tips to take care of your EV during the lockdown apply to traditional vehicles as well. These include protecting your car’s appearance and external components.

While the battery is the main component that requires care when your EV isn’t being used, you can also protect the body and paintwork with a car cover. This will prevent unnecessary scratches or scrapes.

If possible, you can also put your car up on blocks if it isn’t being used at all. This will help the tyres retain their pressure. You may also want to replace the windshield wipers, if it’s time.

Further reading

If you drive, or would like to drive, an EV, here are some resources that you might find helpful.

If you’re looking for EVs for your company fleet, we can help. Call us on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com to discuss your options.

Woman holding a small blue car in one hand while covering it with her other hand