We are so used to managing and maintaining our phone batteries. We know that it is not good to leave it charging overnight and to have it at 100% for long periods of time. So how does it work with EV’s and Teslas? Many people often wonder if it is harmful to leave a Tesla on a charger all night.
It is recommended that you always leave your Tesla plugged in overnight if you can. This helps with overall battery health- and longevity. You can set your charge limit from the onboard screen or from your Tesla app. Once your Tesla is charging, it will go into “Sleep Mode” and will not overcharge or drain your battery.
As usual I went into further detail in this article. You will find some nifty charging tips on how to maintain your Tesla battery.
About Tesla Batteries
The first Tesla battery was of nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA). Earlier models such as the S, X, 3, and Y all have them. Modern long-range models—300 to 400 miles per charge (482-644 km)—still use them. The NCA’s high charge capacity is a huge boon for EV owners.
Then again, they’re also expensive to manufacture—an expense that gets passed on to consumers.
To address costs for both parties, Tesla recently shifted to smaller yet more economical technology: Lithium ion phosphate (LFP). LFP batteries provide about 250-270 (402-434.5 km) miles per charge. Tesla likes to use them in their standard range vehicles, such as the new version of the Model Y.
Both these types of batteries can be left plugged in whenever you are not driving your Tesla. The car’s battery management system—which you set up and which I will tell you about in the coming sections—will not allow repercussions to rear their ugly heads.
The latest Wall Connectors for Tesla can even connect to WiFi, providing you with charging information.
If you’d like to further your knowledge on this topic then check out this article that I wrote called: “9 Easy Tips To Manage Your Tesla Battery“. They’re so easy to follow!
Nickel Manganese Cobalt–A Safer, Greener Solution
In 2020, Tesla also expressed an interest in using more environmentally friendly (and energy efficient) nickel manganese cobalt in its batteries, though this has not come into full prominence just yet.
With so many power plants to keep track of, facts can get a bit confusing, so I’ve included a range table here:
|Nickel Cobalt Aluminum||300-400 miles per charge|
|Lithium Ion Phosphate||250-270 miles per charge|
|Nickel Manganese Cobalt||Not yet known, but with 50-100% higher storage capacity than NCA or LFP|
Mile/Time Setting Charging
If you’re still worried about leaving your Tesla plugged in overnight (where’s the trust, people?) you can program its charge system to deactivate at any time you like. In fact, this practice should not be overlooked, especially if the vehicle uses NCA batteries.
Here is a YouTube video that describes basic Tesla charging:
Tesla infotainment menus also include a “Dog Mode”. In Dog Mode, the car will set a comfortable interior temperature for your pooch while you are away doing human things (but please don’t just leave the poor guy in there all the time).
If you only want your Tesla’s battery to charge up to where it gets you only this amount of miles or that amount of miles, just tell it. Not verbally, mind you. Just bring up the “Schedule Charging” section from the charging menu and input a start/stop time.
To charge by percentage, choose “Set Limit”. Teslas are very friendly cars and will happily oblige your commands.
That “Set Limit” option will affect charge life over the long term. Let’s look at where you should program it for Tesla’s two main types of batteries.
Maintaining Tesla Battery Health
I have a friend in New Zealand who drives an older Tesla. He tells me he follows the ABC rule: Always Be Charging. However, he also does not like to charge the batteries to over 80%.
This practice, he claims, slows down degradation. Turns out he is correct.
Okay, but what do those stats have to do with keeping the batteries away from that 100% charge?In 2014 Elon Musk himself recommended charging only 80% for commutes that used up 50% of a full State Of Charge (SOC). Again, this is for models that use the NCA batteries.
For Teslas that use the more modern LFP battery set-up, the company recommends that owners give them a full charge at least once per week. Indeed, it’s okay to keep these LFPs at 100% as often as possible (set your charge limit to 100).
Teslas with NCA power plants have about 5% battery degradation over 50,000 miles (80,467 km). That loss will slow down as the car gets older. By the time the odometer hits 150,000 miles 241,401.6 km), you should still be looking at a 90% total capacity charge.
Other Tesla Charging Tips
So we have established that it’s okay to leave your Tesla plugged in overnight because charging will cease based on your input for “Set Limit”. This limit should be set to 80%-85% for NCA batteries and 100% for LFPs.Other range/battery health tips from Tesla include:
- Use the home Wall Connector for charging whenever possible.
- Do not “supercharge” with DC unless necessary.
- Try to avoid letting the batteries hit 0%.
- Leave the regenerative braking setting at “Standard”.
- Keep the vehicle’s tire pressure at its recommended settings.
At 120 volts, those nifty Wall Connectors will provide the car with 2-3 miles (3.22-4.83 km) of driving for every plugged-in hour. That piece of info may not quite fit in with the rest of today’s article, but it’s certainly useful for every Tesla owner to know.
Did you know:
Tesla also uses a key card function for entry, just in case you don’t have your phone with you? It fits right in your wallet and will trip the door lock automatically when held close.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Normal 110v Outlet to Charge My Tesla?
Does Home Charging Equipment Take a Long Time to Install?
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