car recharged by an electric terminal

Electric car battery: type, operation, duration

Electric cars are becoming increasingly important in the automotive market. In 2021, they represented 9.8% of the market. This democratization is necessarily accompanied by several questions, in particular about the battery, an essential element for your car. Technology used, charging time, location of terminals, we will try to answer these questions.

Whether electric, hybrid or thermal, each car has a battery. It is she who provides the energy necessary for its operation. There are different types of batteries suitable for the automotive market, but they all have one common characteristic: they must be able to quickly mobilize large amounts of energy at start-up. These are therefore batteries which must also be able to be recharged quickly, and therefore which will not support deep discharge, that is to say the discharge of a large quantity of their energy.

What are the different types of car batteries?

  • Lead Acid Batteries : They are still today the most widespread. These are the batteries found in most thermal cars. Some batteries in this category, such as lead/acid batteries, are quite polluting, if only by their short lifespan, and by the chemicals they contain. Others offer better performance, such as AGM batteries, which are more recent and less harmful to the environment.
  • Lithium batteries :
    • On the side of electric cars we now mainly encounter batteries of the lithium/ion type. These batteries, relatively new, have a longer life. These are batteries that are lighter, and whose performance and efficiency are generally better. They therefore naturally replaced other types of batteries such as nickel batteries, and in particular the niCd battery which contained cadmium and proved to be particularly harmful to the environment in the event of this component being released into the air. It is now banned in Europe for most of its uses.
    • In the case of hybrid cars, a special type of lithium battery is used. Indeed, unlike an electric car which will need an energy battery to run its engine, the hybrid car will rather need a power battery since the engine is already powered by a conventional battery. This specificity is explained in detail in the following video:
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How to calculate the ecological bonus to determine your budget?

Le electric car battery model is in most cases a choice of the manufacturer. The choice of your car must therefore be closely linked to that of the battery technology you wish to use. First you will need determine the budget available to you for the purchase of your car. This will allow you to make a first selection between entry-level or state-of-the-art models. It is important to specify that the ecological bonus is extended in France until July 2022. However, this bonus is subject to the following conditions.

ecological bonus grid for electric vehicles

Then once the price criterion has been defined, you will be able to use a comparator.

What is the range of electric cars and the type of charging possible?

The range and charging time of an electric car are two relatively important criteria when buying a new vehicle. However, they can vary considerably depending on the models chosen and the type of refill used. A electric car can be charged with alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

La AC charging is the one used when the car is recharged at home or at small charging stations. If this type of loading is the majority, it will be necessary to favor a model equipped with a good converter.

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La direct current charging, also known as fast or ultra-fast charging can only be done in specialized terminals. Not all electric car models support fast charging. To find your way around, it is possible to consult the website which offers a cooldown simulator.

On the autonomy side, the performance generally evolves with the size of the battery which is around 40 to 60 kWh at entry level but can go up to more than 200 kWh on the side of the most efficient models. But then what can we expect concretely? Some comparisons can help us see more clearly!

An update on the network of charging stations in France

In one article from July 15, 2021, the government website reports 43700 public charging points. A large part of the motorway service areas are equipped and this should extend to all motorway areas in the concession network by the end of the year. There are also many terminals directly in the agglomerations.

Electric car charging stations can be easily found using Google Map. On the other hand, specialized sites and applications list the various existing points. This is for example the case of Chargemap, which in addition to its map that can be viewed online, also offers an application that can be downloaded directly to a smartphone.

Price of an electric car recharge: our tips for reducing the bill

It is important to remember that the rate will not be the same depending on the place chosen for recharging. Thereby consumption at home will often be more advantageous since it will only cost you the price of electricity without any associated recharging costs.
However, depending on the capacities of your electrical network, this solution may sometimes require some adjustments such as the installation of a wall-mounted charging box, or an increase in the limits of your subscription.
On the side of public charging stations, charging prices vary greatly depending on the provider of the charging station. A high price will not always be synonymous with fast charging. The rate applied is generally higher on the side of the charging stations on the motorway, than in the city stations and it can therefore be interesting to think about charging your car before a long journey.

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How to increase the life of an electric battery?

The major interest of the electric car remains its ecological side. This is based on good management of battery maintenance and recycling. Recycling is still a long and complex operation, so it is essential to extend the life of the batteries used as much as possible.

To do this, a few tricks can help.

Good to know

Changes in temperature, for example, inevitably harm your battery, but certain behaviors can help limit the damage.

  • Thus for an electric car, it is advisable in winter to recharge just after the journey, when the battery is still warm.

  • Conversely in summer, it is recommended to recharge it rather just before a trip to avoid leaving an overcharged battery at rest in the heat.

The frequency of recharging can also make it possible to limit the deterioration of the battery. If capacity allows, for short trips it is advisable to recharge the car after a few round trips rather than systematically before or after each trip.

Sometimes, however, the battery wears out. It can then be interesting to take care of its maintenance, for example by carrying out a balancing, but do not worry it is a automatic function on electric cars!

To go further, read a recent article on the solar batteries

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