Lithium-ion batteries do not appreciate being fully charged all the time. A good place to keep the battery charge is between 40 and 80%, if possible. Luckily, our LEAFs have a setting that will stop the charge once it is at 80% so that the battery lasts longer. This also has the handy side effect that it allows energy storage from the regenerative breaking, allowing your brakes to last longer.
Staying away from full charge helps, but you should also avoid full discharge. Aside from the fact that its a bad idea to run out of charge wherever you are, it also decreases the battery life. As a guide, try to keep the charge between 2 and 10 bars out of 12 in your LEAF. You can do this by topping up your charge during the day at any of our island wide charge points.
Barbados could be home or a second home. Regardless, there may be a time of year when you leave the island for an extended period, leaving your EV behind. If you are leaving your car for over a month, make sure to store it somewhere cool and out of the sun, such as a garage. It is a good idea to charge the car up to 60% before leaving; it will discharge on its own. When it hits 20% charge, or after 3 months of standing still, charge it back to 60%.
Once you plug in your Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) commonly referred to as "the charger" to your power source and then to your car, you should see three flashing blue lights and then hear three audible beeps. The three lights should continue to flash with the number of solid lights indicating your level of charge. Once the three lights turn solid, then you are fully charged.
If for some reason your car is not charging:
Check that the lead is fully plugged in to the unit and to the car.
Check that the power supply has not tripped.
Ensure the car is powered off.
In the event that your car is still not charging, give us a call.
In order to extend the life of your battery, we have compiled a few tips for you to take care of your electric car.
Our Recharging Tips
Although the quick thirty minute chargers are very useful in emergency situations, they somewhat damage the capacity of the battery. It is a good idea to use these only occasionally, and otherwise stick to the longer term chargers whenever possible.
As with all electrical equipment caution should be applied if used during electrical weather disturbances. If there is a surge on the line the breaker should trip leaving the charger and car unharmed but it is better to be safe than sorry - we recommend to unplug your car and other electrical equipment during a lightning storm.
Keep the charge at a medium
Stay away from the zeros
Leaving your car behind
Like any cars, EVs heat up in the sun. This is more of a problem in Barbados than in cooler climates (although thankfully we don't need to deal with winter issues!). By leaving the car in the sun, the battery either uses energy to keep itself cool or heats up. Neither are desirable, although nothing dramatic will happen. Parking your car in the shade, such as that provided by our solar car ports, will guard against this effect, and keeping the car plugged in means you can run the climate control without wasting your charge - and of course, your car will be cooler when you return.
Sun gives you power, shade makes it last
Leaving the car standing for a long time may create the phenomenon of an unbalanced battery. This simply means that the range will diminish. In order to restore your car to its full glory, you can rebalance the battery by charging it to 100% before driving it. We also recommend fully charging it the second charge after you come back. After that, the battery should be rebalanced and you can return to you 80% charge.