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Does Fast Charging Really Damage Batteries?

Answer: All charging methods have some impact on battery health, but there are ways to minimize the damage.

AC Charging:

  • AC charging utilizes AC power, which is converted to DC by the onboard charger before being applied to the battery in a constant voltage and constant current manner.
  • With typical power ratings of 3.5kW or 7kW, it entails longer charging times but minimizes battery wear, promoting extended battery life.
  • The slow charging process can be divided into three stages: trickle charging, constant current charging, and constant voltage charging.
    • Trickle charging: When the battery voltage falls below a set value, a low current is used to charge and activate the battery.
    • Constant current charging: Once the battery voltage reaches a set value, a constant current is applied to rapidly charge the battery.
    • Constant voltage charging: As the battery approaches full charge, a constant voltage is maintained to prevent overcharging.

DC Fast Charging:

  • DC Fast charging employs DC power to directly charge the battery.
  • Capable of delivering power in the tens or even hundreds of kW range, it offers rapid charging times but at the cost of increased battery wear, potentially reducing battery life.
  • The fast charging process also consists of three stages: pre-charging, constant current charging, and constant voltage charging.
    • Pre-charging: The battery is subjected to low-voltage charging to activate it.
    • Constant current charging: A constant current is used to rapidly charge the battery.
    • Constant voltage charging: As the battery nears full capacity, a constant voltage is maintained to prevent overcharging.

Charging Principles:

  • AC Slow Charging: Converts AC grid power to DC through the onboard charger before charging the battery. Typical power is 3.5kW or 7kW.
  • DC Fast Charging: Rectifies and filters AC grid power to directly charge the battery. Power can reach tens or even hundreds of kW.

Impact of Charging on Battery:

  • Higher charging power and current lead to greater impact on the battery. Long-term fast charging can cause battery overheating, performance degradation, and shortened life.
  • High temperatures accelerate electrolyte decomposition, electrode deposition, and other side reactions, increasing safety risks.

How to Reduce Fast Charging Damage to Battery:

  • Use AC slow charging whenever possible.
  • For high-use vehicles such as taxis and logistics vehicles, choose low-power DC fast charging and use AC slow charging at night whenever possible.
  • Keep battery charge between 20% and 90%, avoiding overcharging and overdischarging.
  • Choose a charging station that matches your vehicle and avoid using high-power fast charging.
  • Regularly inspect the vehicle and monitor battery health.

Conclusion:

Fast charging damage to batteries is inevitable, but it can be minimized by using the vehicle wisely and choosing the right charging method. Vehicle owners should choose the appropriate charging method based on their own driving needs to extend battery life.

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