Electric and Hybrid Cars during Lockdown
If you have an electric car, you obviously don’t have to worry about what’s in the fuel tank, but you will need to take simple measures to keep your battery healthy. The battery pack will lose electricity over time, even when the car is not being used, so you’ll end up with issues if you don’t keep it charged. Keep the battery’s charge between 50 percent and 70 percent at all times. Some electric cars let owners set a charging limit, so they can set it and forget it. If yours doesn’t have this feature, keep an eye on the charging level by looking at the dashboard or the app. Charging to 100 percent isn’t recommended.
For Hybrid vehicles, these usually contain two batteries: a 12-volt battery (which powers systems such as the headlamps and audio) and a high-voltage hybrid system battery (which supplies the power to start the combustion engine and drive the electric motors). The simplest way to maintain charge in both of these is to simply go through the normal start procedure. Don’t leave your car unattended when it is switched on. While the car is in ‘Ready’ mode, you may hear and feel the internal combustion engine kick in, which is a normal part of the self-charging process. You might be tempted to switch on the radio to pass the time, or turn on other systems, but these will consume small amounts of electrical power so it’s best to leave them off. Ensure the parking brake and let the car charge. There’s no need to go for a drive to charge your hybrid, but we must stress that you only do this in a well-ventilated area – something to consider if you park your vehicle in a garage.