Feature: Storing Your EV for an Extended Period

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by Kivi

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09.30.2021

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What You Need to Know

More than 6.8 million Americans have purchased a hybrid electric or plug-in electric car in the past two+ decades. And if you happen to be part of the EV-crowd, you likely enjoy many of the benefits that come with owning an EV, including simple storage arrangements.

Because EVs contain different components than conventional gas-powered cars, they require little maintenance, even when storing them for long periods of time. Still, there are a few things you should remember to do before taking it on one last joy ride and parking it long-term.

Car storage
Choose your storage location carefully

Prepare for the Rainy Season

Keeping your EV in an enclosed, climate-controlled environment will also minimize damage caused by floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Prepare for the rainy season by replacing warped or rotting garage doors and redirecting water away from your home.

Clean or install gutters and slope your driveway away from the door to minimize pooling and subsequent damage to tires, cords, and other important EV components.

Maintain a Consistent Temperature

Batteries are like humans in that they prefer the same temperature range that most people do. Anything below 40°F is typically too cold, while temperatures that exceed 115°F will be too hot. These extreme climates will zap your battery and cause long-term damage.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you maintain a consistent temperature by adding proper insulation and ventilation to your storage space. If that’s your garage, you’ll want to add a heating system, whether that’s a mini-split system, propane heater or similar system.

Trickle Charge

VW ID4 charging
A trickle charge will extend battery life in storage

Replacing a lithium-ion car battery can cost thousands of dollars, which is why you must take care of yours while it’s in storage. Leaving the battery at a full or completely empty charge for a long time could accelerate wear on its cells and shorten its lifespan.

Therefore, it’s wise to set a charging target or trickle charge your battery to maintain a 30% to 80% capacity. Consult your user guide to determine the optimal charge target for your specific make and model.

Turn the Tires

Leaving any car in storage for a prolonged period can cause flat spots on the tires. Ultimately, these spots can cause shimmies and harmonic vibrations that make it difficult to steer your vehicle. Use a wheel cradle or jack stands to avoid flat-spotting or turn the tires by taking your EV out for a spin every now and again. With this tip in mind, you’ll never have another excuse not to go for a joy ride!

Pampering Your EV

See? Pampering your EV isn’t that difficult. All it takes is completing a few simple tasks to maintain a comfortable environment. If you’re attentive and consistent, your vehicle will last much longer and take you on more exciting adventures in the coming days. Plus, you’ll enjoy optimal efficiency and a better driving experience overall.

Story by Martin Banks.

Before You Store–A Few EVs to Choose

Flash Drive: 2021 Volkswagen ID4

Buyer’s Guide: Why EVs Are Great for Students

Road Test: 2021 Polestar 2

Buyer’s Guide: Hybrid  vs. Electric Vehicles

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