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I just bought a 2016 Volt. Is it better to charge more often when the battery is partially depleted or wait until it's fully or almost fully depleted. I understand there's a time difference. I'm interested in what's best for the health and longevity of the battery.
 

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Either way will not affect battery health.

However, the kWh display estimate may get confused if all you do is many small charges without ever doing any full charges. At least, we have see that with Gen 1. Gen 2 may be different in that regard. But the battery is not degraded either way.
 

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Charge whenever it is convenient to. That way your battery will be full or at least more full the next time you drive it. You want to have max range when you set out. It does not stress the battery to charge like that. In fact it is better for the battery to be plugged in because that allows the thermal management to run while parked in extreme weather.
 

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It is more efficient to do longer charges than short.
But it's also more efficient to have enough charge to get to where you're going and not need gas ;)

Balance the two however you'd like.
If you know you won't come close to depleting battery over a couple days, no harm in skipping a nightly charge. The battery is never fully charged or fully depleted, so it doesn't really affect battery longevity either way.
 

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It's better to charge more frequently.

Battery degradation increases with the depth of discharge, so shallower cycles would be better.
 

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It's better to charge more frequently.

Battery degradation increases with the depth of discharge, so shallower cycles would be better.
Yes, shallower cycles from the middle (the optimum storage level is often quoted at 40%)
Charging to 85 and down to 65, repeat is worse than charging to 60 down to 40 and repeat.
But the most damage is done at the extremes both of which the volt computer will not let you touch.

In short, these batteries are very well protected by the charging software. Just charge it when you can and enjoy.


If for some reason you'd like your battery to last 30 years instead of 20 by unplugging as soon as it charges to 60%... Go right ahead ;)
 

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If for some reason you'd like your battery to last 30 years instead of 20 by unplugging as soon as it charges to 60%... Go right ahead ;)
Since the first production Volt was built in late 2010, there is no real-world evidence that this is accurate. There is evidence, however, that Volt's battery tech is highly reliable. Two cell defects per 1,000,000 is impressive.

There are posts indicating that a full discharge occasionally will help with cell balancing and indicator accuracy.
 

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Since the first production Volt was built in late 2010, there is no real-world evidence that this is accurate. There is evidence, however, that Volt's battery tech is highly reliable. Two cell defects per 1,000,000 is impressive.

There are posts indicating that a full discharge occasionally will help with cell balancing and indicator accuracy.
When did a full discharge help with cell balancing? My understanding is that cell balancing occurs near or at full SOC. At least that is the situation with the LEAF.
 

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Since the first production Volt was built in late 2010, there is no real-world evidence that this is accurate. There is evidence, however, that Volt's battery tech is highly reliable. Two cell defects per 1,000,000 is impressive.

There are posts indicating that a full discharge occasionally will help with cell balancing and indicator accuracy.
LG chem's estimation is 85% of life after 15 years based on several years of testing and modeling. (Less for high use, but given the topic of the thread, time is the greater factor here)
85% is plenty left to me. Aside from external forces (eg. collisions), it should be usable for years after that.
And having an engine, no one really needs to replace a battery that only holds 50% or so. Just means you're using more gas.
So 20 years should be a reasonable end of life.

But of course, I doubt few volts will last that long due to collisions, wearing parts all around (including rust).
And. If battery tech progresses rapidly, there's a good chance someone will work out an aftermarket replacement battery that can 'speak' to the volt computers at some point. So people will be willingly buying new batteries with significantly better capacity long before 20yrs comes around.

In short, 20yrs is perfectly reasonable for the condition in which these batteries are used and manufacturer data.
 

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There are posts indicating that a full discharge occasionally will help with cell balancing and indicator accuracy.
When did a full discharge help with cell balancing? My understanding is that cell balancing occurs near or at full SOC. At least that is the situation with the LEAF.
I've seen this mentioned periodically on this site before, but I'm pretty sure it's BS. I can't think of any mechanism that would actually improve balancing by doing a full discharge.

I've hesitated to flat-out call BS on it previously cuz I don't know enough about the intricacies of the Volt's cell balancing, but I'm fairly confident that it's BS nonetheless. My only first-hand experience is with cell balancing is with R/C LiPo balancing chargers, and the ones that I had balance at/near full SOC, just like linkim indicated. It doesn't matter how deep the discharge is.
 

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I've seen this mentioned periodically on this site before, but I'm pretty sure it's BS. I can't think of any mechanism that would actually improve balancing by doing a full discharge.
I think it's kind of a mix of two different flavors of muddling thinking. The first is that those old NiCad batteries did have memory effects, and regular deep discharges (to a very specific voltage, if possible) was the way to maximize the life of a given cell and thus of the pack as a whole. The second is that the way to actually MEASURE the capacity of a battery is to actually drain it in a controlled way, which means a deep discharge as well. And that capacity measure then can/could be used to get a much more accurate value for SOC.

Both of those things are theoretical and basically irrelevant to Volt owners, though, as our packs are NOT NiCad batteries, and Chevy's (nicely? evilly? depends on your view, I guess) decided that we're only using the tiny middle portion of our charge, to extend the overall life of the cell into MUCH longer than your laptop battery will last.
 

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I'm a newbie (Got my 2015 gen 1 Volt a few weeks ago) but have heard that keeping it plugged in helps because it maintains the battery at the proper temperature.

PS. Great vehicle. I've driven it 1,000 miles and put in 5 gallons of gas.
 
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