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Published date: September 8, 2023

Can I charge my EV to 100%? NMC vs. LFP EV battery charging habits

Can I charge my EV to 100%? NMC vs. LFP EV battery charging habits

Traditional wisdom teaches that to keep a lithium-ion battery healthy, it should not be charged to 100% every day, and most OEMs have been suggesting 80-90% charge limits for optimal lifetimes. LFP batteries are changing this reality.

Table of contents

TLDR; Should you charge your EV battery to 80% 90% or 100%?

Charge LFP battery cars to 100% if you have one (but there are not so many of those yet). For NMC battery cars, it's usually best not to charge them to 100%.

Electric vehicles with LFP battery compositions can be charged to 100% daily. For example, Tesla suggests charging LFP Model 3 batteries to 100% at least once per week so the vehicle can have an accurate range and charge reading.

EVs with NMC compositions, however, receive recommendations to set a charge limit between 80% - 90% for daily use to maintain battery health for longer periods of time.

Why the difference, you may ask? LFP batteries have a cycle lifetime of 2-4x longer than NMC batteries. A cycle lifetime stands for how many times an EV battery can be charged and discharged before its capacity falls below 80% of the original.

What is the chemical difference between LFP and NMC batteries?

LFP batteries are composed of lithium-ion phosphate chemistry. This battery composition notably leaves out cobalt, which is a key component of NMC batteries, which are made of nickel, manganese, and cobalt. Cobalt has been a contentious mineral, as it is known to be mined in high-conflict areas. LFP batteries instead use phosphate, which is much cheaper and easier to source.

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What are the downsides of LFP batteries compared to NMC?

LFP batteries have lower energy density compared to NMC battery compositions. This means you need more LFP batteries to accomplish the same goal, and the vehicle will be heavier. Additionally, LFP batteries have some trouble in the cold, as they take longer to warm up & charge quickly

Which batteries cost more, LFP or NMC?

LFP batteries are lower cost than NMC batteries, and this is why some OEMs are switching to this chemistry. There is currently a price war in EVs and battery materials are a significant way to drive costs down.

Which OEMs are planning to use LFP batteries?

Ford, Hyundai, Rivian, Tesla, and VW have all announced LFP battery updates. Tesla is already using LFP batteries for their Model 3 Standard Range and Model Y Standard Range models, and Ford is already using LFP batteries in the Standard Range versions of their Mustang Mach-E. Rivian is also starting to roll out LFP batteries in their R1T truck and R1S SUV.

How can I charge at home?

To get your charger installation quote, go here.

Remember, shop chargers here as well! https://lectrium-store.myshopify.com/collections/all

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