Maximizing battery life

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Jay47, May 15, 2019.

  1. Jay47

    Jay47 New Member

  2. jayc1358

    jayc1358 Member

    My car is primarily used for around town, to and from kids soccer practice etc. 80% is plenty so that is what I charge it to. I will let it get down to 20% before charging it again so I may only have to charge it once a week. I will be using it on longer trips a few times a year. In that case I will charge it to 100% the night before. Between 20-80% seems to be the magic number for the health of the battery.
  3. Your charging strategy is similar to mine, running between 20%-80%. Some advice I had from a Hyundai Kona EV driver was that you should take it up to 100% about once a month if you’re not doing that anyway for longer journeys. I am a couple of years off retirement and unlikely to buy another new car ever so this one has to last!...So maximising battery life is very important to me.
    Lektrons likes this.
  4. jayc1358

    jayc1358 Member

    That is good to know! I feel good knowing at least these packs are heated and cooled so that is a big advantage over the Nissan Leaf. It should contribute to longer life. Also a good warranty. Hopefully with as fast as battery technology is moving and the falling price of EV batteries, at some point years from now they may not be that expensive to replace if needed.
    Lektrons likes this.
  5. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Here is what they say in the KIA Access Android App:
    Lektrons and jayc1358 like this.
  6. Lektrons

    Lektrons Member

    I never read about the 100% once a month. The way I look at this is that this a very large purchase and you should look after it correctly. Someone at the dealer suggested I just charge and not think about it claiming a leaf owner did this and after 400k, his battery charges to 85% which isn't bad
  7. Embra

    Embra New Member

    First post here--I've been lurking a few months--but I can throw in what I've absorbed from a 3-year lease of a Leaf and owning an e-bike.

    The 20%-80% is sound advice; if you don't need to charge frequently you can get even more recharge cycles by charging at 25% and stopping at 75%. This seems to be the sweet spot, as narrowing the discharge amount further than that is counter-productive. (I can set my bike charger to stop at 75%, but the Leaf could be set to stop only at 80% or 100%...I don't know how much control the Niro-EV offers on this.) After the 85-mile range Leaf, I am really attracted to the large battery capacities that affords more discretion in charging strategies.

    Charging at lower amperages is better for battery longevity than high amps, though I wouldn't worry much about occasional fast-charging.

    Good data at

    The idea on charging to 100% every once in a while (e.g., monthly) is to even out the charges on all the cells in the battery. Apparently, when not topping them all up occasionally the individual cells start to have unequal charges which can be problematic.
    Lektrons likes this.
  8. John321

    John321 New Member

    Certainly a wealth of opinions on this. I am coming from a 2008 Prius that we bought new in 2008. We traded it in on a 2019 Niro Plug in.
    I can tell you the 2008 Prius had 150,000 miles on it with 0 problems with the battery, battery management system or the Hybrid system. When we traded it in it was still averaging over 50 mpg. I would be afraid to even begin to guess how many charge discharge cycles this battery pack had been through. Its Hybrid battery charge/discharge profile was similar to when it was new even after almost 12 years. Automakers now have real world examples like the Prius that has been around for decades to base their technology and battery management technologies on.
    I am going to take the side that the Engineers who design these vehicles know more about them than me and that they have a vested interest in protecting and getting the most out of these batteries. I will trust them and the battery management systems they have developed and plug my vehicle in every chance I get. If they didn't expect people to plug in every chance they had they shouldn't come with plugs. I am realizing great savings with our Kwh rate at .09Kwh and gas at $3 gallon.
    jayc1358 likes this.
  9. jayc1358

    jayc1358 Member

    Thank you for posting this. I am going to charge to 100% tonight as I need to do a road trip tomorrow and want to do it round trip. Not having charged to 100% since I have had the car, I was always worried in the back of my mind if that would be a "bad" thing. I am both confident and excited to do it now with all of your input. Looking forward to tomorrow with my family and my Niro EV.
  10. John321

    John321 New Member

    I think the most important information was contained in the second sentence of the Conclusion paragraph
    These tips can extend the life of an electric car’s batteries, but I’d like to make it clear that most are not absolutely necessary. With modern plug-in vehicles, you can simply plug them in anytime and drive it any way that you see fit and you should still have batteries that perform well in 10 years"

    Anyone who is lucky enough to own one of these vehicles should plug them in every chance they get and enjoy them.
  11. Lektrons

    Lektrons Member

    I am totally enjoying my vehicle and charging it relatively between 20%-80% is not difficult or really any different than plugging it in when I need too. The Kia manual states to charge the battery between the 20%-80% and avoid DC chargers and they made the vehicle.
  12. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    I scoured the manual for this and couldn't find it. Can you point to a chapter/page? I had thought that Kia took a similar approach to battery management as Chevy - active cooling, with reserved space both at the top and bottom of the charge - meaning that even if you run it down to 0% and charge it up to 100%, the battery is never actually at 0% or 100% state of charge. In other words, the usable capacity of the battery is 64Kwh, but the actual capacity is larger.
  13. John321

    John321 New Member

    You can make yourself completely miserable trying to chase a mythical perfect charge.

    Why not enjoy your vehicle and plug in whenever you can?

    The on-board battery management for these vehicles will take care of everything. We plug our vehicle in every single chance we get, that is why we bought it.

    Before we bought the Kia we drove a Prius for 12 years. This car hybrid battery went through untold thousands and thousands of charge /discharge cycles in its over 150,000 miles. Battery was perfect after 12 years and vehicle still averaged over 50 miles per gallon.

    Trust the engineers who design these vehicles are smarter than advice you will get on the internet and know they have designed battery management systems on these cars to maximize battery life. Their warranties depend on it!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  14. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    I agree with you, but I can see people's concerns. My first BEV was a 2013 Leaf and, after three years, it had lost roughly 1/3 of its overall range due to battery degradation. However, Nissan took a different approach to battery management - they used passive cooling and made 100% of the capacity of the battery available for use. So when the battery was charged to 100%, it was actually at 100% state of charge. Doing this repeatedly, along with the fact that the battery was not actively cooled, probably contributed to the loss of capacity over three years. In a shorter-range BEV to start, that really made a significant negative impact on the usability of the vehicle for me. When new, I could get roughly 90-95 miles with careful driving in warm weather. By the time I turned it in (it was a lease), I was lucky to get 60 miles.

    On the Kia (and on the Chevy Volt, my car after the Leaf), they use active cooling of the battery and reserve some of the capacity at the high and low end, so these issues with charging to 100% are not nearly as much of a concern.
  15. John321

    John321 New Member

    I agree with you that that battery degradation has been addressed on these Kia models. I am not going to pretend in any way I am an expert and it sounds as if you are very informed already. My reading on the technology for Toyota and Kia implies that their battery management software only let these batteries discharge to 20 % and charge to 80%. The batteries never really fully discharge or never really fully charge.
    Again I would never imply I am an expert but it sounds as if your and my understanding of these systems is similar.
    I wonder if an individual could email Kia customer service and be able to interact with a real expert and put the myth that some sort of exotic secret charging practices are needed to rest and put everyone's mind at ease with just driving and enjoying their vehicle.
    I plug mine in every single chance I get, it is the only way I can maximize the amount of electric miles I can travel and justify the cost of the vehicle
  16. Lektrons

    Lektrons Member

    IMG_20190702_195817.jpg IMG_20190702_195817.jpg
    Hi, it is on page 1----6. To each his own when looking after your vehicle and it's components. I am having no problems with my EV settings at 80% for battery charging.
  17. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    Thank you. I really couldn't find it and I looked. I searched through the entire charging section, and even used a search on the pdf version, and couldn't find it. That is interesting.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  18. Lektrons

    Lektrons Member

    This is actually common knowledge for maintaining lithium batteries, even your phone can battery can benefit by using the 20-80 rule. Or you just plug it in and use it as normal.
  19. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    Understood. However, there was some discussion online (I don't remember where) about the Niro battery being closer to 68-70KWH, with 64 usable. The remaining capacity was reserved such that the battery, even if showing 0% to the driver wasn't actually at 0% state of charge. Similarly, if the driver sees 100% state of charge, the battery wasn't actually charged to 100%. There was that additional capacity reserved at both sides to automatically protect the battery from repeated 100% to 0% to 100% cycles. This is the same thing the Chevy did. In a Gen 2 Volt, the battery's capacity was confirmed to be 16.8KWH, but the usable capacity was limited to about 14.4KWH.

    So, it's interesting that Kia would put that in the manual when there seems to be built-in measures to prevent that 100%/0%/100% cycle already, and I don't think any of their warranty language specifies that the owner should follow the 20% to 80% rule to be covered by the warranty.

    From personal experience, I charged my 2016 Volt just about every night for 3 1/3 years so far, and experienced zero range/capacity loss in that time. However I had terrible capacity loss in the 2013 Leaf over 3 years I chalk up the difference to the very different approaches to battery management by Chevy and Nissan.

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