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Is Fast Charging Safe for Your Electric Vehicle?

Is Fast Charging Safe for Your Electric Vehicle?

By James Fisher

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity, but concerns about their battery longevity and range remain valid. One such concern is the impact of fast charging on battery degradation. In this article, we will explore whether fast charging is safe for your EV and its effect on battery health.

What is Fast Charging?

Fast charging, also known as Level 3 or DC charging, is the fastest available way to charge your EV. Charging stations utilizing DC fast charging can deliver between 7 and 50 times more power than regular AC charging stations, allowing the EV to be charged in mere minutes. However, this high power generates considerable heat and puts the battery under stress.

The Reality Of Fast Charging On Your EV Battery Health

Studies such as Geotabs’ research from 2020 found that fast charging three times a month increased battery degradation by 0.1 percent compared to drivers who never used fast charging. Furthermore, a study by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) tested two sets of Nissan Leafs, charging them twice daily over a year. The results showed that the pair using solely DC fast charging lost 27 percent of their original capacity, while the pair using regular AC charging lost 23 percent battery capacity.

Although fast charging may decrease battery health more than AC charging, its impact is relatively small. The impact on battery deterioration from using fast charging is only about 0.1 percent on average. Fast charging is particularly useful for inconvenient long-distance travel, as the advancements in battery design mean they are designed to be fast charged.

When Should You Use Fast Charging?

Fast charging is not recommended for daily use. Although fast charging stations are convenient, they are much bulkier, costlier to install, and require a much higher voltage to operate. Thus, they are only available at specific locations. Furthermore, regular AC charging can be enough to meet daily needs, even the slowest level 2 charging. A medium-sized EV will still fully charge in under 8 hours with slow charging times.

Best Practices for Charging in Relation to Battery Health

Fast charging is an essential part of the electric mobility landscape and a crucial tool for long-distance travel with EVs. The battery management system (BMS) reduces the power to optimize charging and protect the battery in cold weather, leading to slower charging times. On hot days, it is best to avoid fast charging and charge in the shade to prevent overheating the battery.

Keeping the battery between 20 and 80 percent is recommended as extremely low or high states of charge can damage the battery over time. It is best to charge your EV to 80 percent for everyday use and only use a full charge when necessary for long-distance trips.

EV Battery Aging

EV batteries lose some of their capacities over time, but the actual impact is only about 2.3 percent per year, which is negligible. Fast charging can increase the rate at which your battery loses capacity, but its actual impact is only about 0.1 percent more capacity lost compared to without using fast charging.


In conclusion, fast charging is not harmful to your EV battery and will not impact battery health with occasional use. It is crucial to utilize appropriate charging methods best suited for certain situations, such as fast charging for long-distance travel and regular AC charging for day-to-day use. Ultimately, treating your battery well has more to do with temperature management than anything else, as lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are sensitive to high temperatures. However, most modern EVs come with built-in temperature management systems to protect the battery while fast charging.

Written by James Fisher
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