Imagine getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with your EV out of charge, what can you do? Like a traditional vehicle’s battery, can you actually jumpstart an electric car? The answer is YES, however, you need to know which battery to jumpstart.
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Electric Car Batteries
Many people don’t realize it, but an electric car actually has two batteries– the main battery and an auxiliary battery. By the way, electric cars are one of the latest breeds of cars powered by electricity; meaning you don’t have to spend a dime anymore on petrol or gas. This electricity is stored in batteries and needs to be charged when necessary.
Electrical vehicles have a main battery that is about 200+ volts which powers the drivetrain, electric motors and actually moves the car from one point to another. The other battery is of a smaller volt, usually a 12V battery similar to that found in conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. This 12V battery powers all the car’s ancillary features like the radio, heated seats, charging ports and wipers.
How To Jumpstart An Electric Vehicle
As stated earlier, an electric vehicle can be jump-started. However, you can’t jumpstart the main 200+ volt battery, but the 12V battery. So, when you want to jumpstart an EV, you first need to locate where the 12V battery is seated. Below are the steps to jumpstart an electric vehicle;
- Using the owner’s manual, locate where the 12V is located. It differs from model to model, it could be in the truck, cabin or under the hood.
- To begin the process, you need to get a portable jumpstart device or a gasoline-powered vehicle (if recommended in the owners manual). Don’t ever use another Electric vehicle to jumpstart your dead EV battery. This is because EVs are not designed to jumpstart another vehicle, this they can’t supply the sufficient power needed.
- Place the two vehicles, the EV with a dead battery and the vehicle with a good battery, near each other so they do not touch.
- Make sure your EV car’s engine is turned off.
- Connect the jumper cables appropriately to your vehicle and the gasoline-powered car you want to use.
- Connect one end of the red positive (+) cable to the discharged battery’s positive (+) terminal. Then, attach the other end of the positive (+) jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the booster vehicle battery.
- Next, place one end of the black negative (–) cable to the good battery’s negative (–) terminal. Now, connect the negative (-) jumper cable to the negative (-) grounding point for the discharged battery.
- Start the other working vehicle, and allow it to run for some minutes. Then turn on the electric car.
- Allow the car to run for at least 20 minutes to charge the dead battery.
Is It Safe To Jumpstart An Electric Vehicle
Under normal circumstances, it is advisable you avoid running your electric battery out of charge. However, it is safe to jumpstart an EV as long as you are doing it the right way. Ensure you don’t jumpstart the main battery. When the main battery runs out, the best solution is to get it charged.
How To Charge An Electric Car
When an electric car runs out, the remedy to get it working is to charge it. All EVs come with charging cables that can be connected to an outlet or charger. You can either make use of a home charging station or a public charging station. Home charging stations are a convenient and fast way to get your car charged.
How fast your car charges depends on the type of charging cable being used and the vehicle model itself. The faster the vehicle charges, the less time you spend at the charging station. Slow and fast chargers are often used at home, while fast and rapid charging is available on public charging networks.
Do’s And Don’t Of Jump Starting An Electric Vehicle
- Avoid jumpstarting the main 200+ volt battery as this could damage expensive electronic gadgets in the car.
- Safely locate the 12V battery, as this is the battery that can be jump-started.
- It is not recommended to use an EV car to jumpstart a dead battery.
- Avoid leaving the battery plug-in when you want to jumpstart the battery.
- Ensure to turn off all electronics and the engine off before you jumpstart.
- Follow the instructions given in the owner’s manual concerning jumpstarting an electric vehicle. Failure to adhere to this can make you lose your warranty.
Electric car’s batteries can run out of charge. When this happens, you can jumpstart the 12V battery to get the lights, radio, AC and other electronic parts running.
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