How does Battery Temperature Affect Charging, Regen, And Discharge Power Limits?

How does Battery Temperature Affect Charging, Regen, And Discharge Power Limits

As the temperature drops, a battery’s capacity (in terms of the number of amp-hours it can store) decreases, whereas as the temperature rises, its capacity increases. This is why, after having been OK the day before, your automobile battery will expire on a chilly winter morning. How does Battery Temperature Affect Charging, Regen, And Discharge Power Limits?

If your batteries have to spend some time of the year huddled up against the cold, you will need to account for their diminished capacity while designing the battery system. Batteries are typically rated at 25 degrees Celsius ambient temperature (about 77 F).

The question “Why does my range diminish when it’s cold?” is among the most often asked. Nearly all EV owners have wondered how temperature affects their cars, whether they live in an area with harsh winters or scorching summers. Although this essay is written for non-experts, we felt it was important to add some technical details on batteries for those interested.

How does Battery Temperature Affect Charging, Regen, And Discharge Power Limits?

Cold weather reduces electric vehicle (EV) range & increases charging times. Range drops by 54% at 5℉. And it can take 3X longer to charge the car. Fear of getting stranded in cold weather is a real concern for EV buyers.

Brian Gitt

A rise in ambient temperature modifies the chemical processes inside a battery. The rate of the chemical processes within the battery increases as its temperature rises. In addition to other impacts, higher temperatures improve lithium-ion batteries’ performance and storage capacity. 

According to research published in Scientific Reports, maximum storage capacity increases by 20% when the temperature is raised from 77 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do charging, regenerating, and discharge power limits react to battery temperature? However, the battery’s lifespan is shortened due to this improved performance. 

According to the same research, battery lifespan deterioration is much worse when charged at 113 degrees compared to 77 degrees. When the battery was exposed to high heat, there was only a 3.3% drop in performance after 200 cycles at 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a 6.7% drop at 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

More than twice as much degradation, in other words! Battery life may be significantly shortened by prolonged exposure to very high temperatures since deterioration is stronger at these temperatures. However, extended exposure to high temperatures, although improving battery capacity in the short term, might pose serious issues.

Cold’s Repercussions

Battery performance and safety are significantly impacted by extended exposure to low temperatures. As the temperature drops, the battery’s internal resistance rises. The battery will have to work more to charge, reducing its capacity. 

The impact of cold weather varies for batteries built with various chemistries, and the pace at which they are charged and discharged plays a role in the loss of capacity. If the temperature drops below zero, a lead-acid battery, for instance, may only provide half of its rated capacity.

Understanding the range of charging temperatures a battery can withstand is crucial. Operating batteries below their optimal temperature slows ion combination, which reduces charge uptake. When excessive current is forced into a battery, pressure may build up and cause the battery to explode if it is a sealed kind.

BATTERY STATUS-40°C (-40°F)-20°C (-4°F)0°C (32°F)25°C (77°F)40°C (104°F)
Voltage limit
on recharge
Float voltage
at full charge
or lower
or lower
or lower
or lower
or lower

Higher Temperatures Shorten The Lifespan Of Batteries

A battery’s capacity may increase under high temperatures, but its useful life may decrease due to extreme heat. At -22 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery’s capacity is cut in half, but its lifetime is extended by around 60%. The temperature significantly affects battery life; for every 15 degrees Fahrenheit over 77, battery life is lowered by 50%. 

This applies to ALL lead-acid batteries, including those that are “sealed,” “Gel,” “AGM,” “industrial,” and “other.” However, the battery tends to smooth out the high and low states over time, so it is better than it sounds.

How do higher temperatures reduce battery life? Finally, it is important to know that batteries with non-standard electrolyte (acid) strengths may be offered locally in certain regions with severe cold or heat. 

The electrolyte may be more concentrated in colder climes, whereas in warmer regions, it may be diluted. In such instances, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the stated specific gravity and voltage values.

As Temperatures Drop, Lithium-Ion Batteries Lose Their Power

Because chemical and physical interactions, such as conductivity and diffusivity, make batteries operate slowly in cold temperatures, this may cause:

  • Taking Longer To Charge (Increased Impedance)

Range reduction (capacity decrease) is mostly attributable to the heating system and will only be temporary. Vehicle temperature control systems drain power from the main battery to keep you comfortable.

Range reduction from cold is temporary, but you should only charge your battery once it’s above freezing. Almost all automobiles include a built-in battery management system (BMS) that cuts off the power or slows charging if the battery is too cold. When your car is on and plugged in, it will need some power to maintain a comfortable inside temperature.

Except for the Nissan Leaf, which only engages thermal regulation when the outside temperature falls below -20C (-4F), and the Tesla, which engages thermal management even when the car is turned off and not connected to a power source, all other electric vehicles adhere to this rule. 

The range of your Tesla may decrease if you drive in extreme temperatures since the vehicle is heating the battery, and you still need to plug it in.

  • Results for the Charging Period

There is no evidence to support the claim that temperature influences charging time. There seem to be two bands, each corresponding to a distinct sort of charge (Fast vs. Slow [Rapid have been eliminated]), and none show the typical rise with temperature. 

This might be because of the vehicle’s resistance to the effects of temperature on charge rates or because of the frequency with which the telemetric device provides data.

What Effect Does Heat Have On My EV’s Battery?

The rate of Li battery deterioration is well known to be significantly affected by temperature. Because of how temperature affects the pace and efficiency of chemical processes inside a battery. 

All reactions speed up as the temperature rises because more energy is available for work. Thus, high temperatures accelerate the chemical processes that provide usable energy and the “unwanted” chemical reactions that cause batteries to deteriorate.

What impact does heat have on the battery in my EV? Solid Electrolyte Interphone (SEI) is a layer of inactive lithium that develops on the anode surface, and high temperatures accelerate its reaction rate. An electrolyte solvent reacts with lithium salts to render the SEI inactive. 

It acts as a protective barrier between the anode and electrolyte, being permeable to the lithium ions that make the battery operate but impervious to the electrolyte. To be clear, this layer is not the same as lithium plating. Although it does use part of the battery’s available lithium, it does so in a way that stabilizes the electrolyte and protects the anode from corrosion.

The content and structure of the protective SEI layer may be altered by high temperatures, leading to processes that use too much active lithium or produce inert compounds that hinder ions from flowing freely. The amount of SEI required to keep the battery safe and guarantee its reliable operation over time is negotiable. 

Since lithium is used in so many SEI processes, a high number of reactions might limit the battery’s capacity to store and release ions, therefore reducing the battery’s energy-generating capacity.

Batteries at rest, batteries being charged, and batteries being cycled all have somewhat distinct thermal degradation mechanisms. Some battery chemistries produce more heat than others do. However, greater temperatures usually hasten deterioration.

Battery TypeCharge TemperatureDischarge TemperatureCharge Advisory
Lead acid–20°C to 50°C
(–4°F to 122°F)
–20°C to 50°C
(–4°F to 122°F)
Charge at 0.3C or lessbelow freezing.
Lower V-threshold by 3mV/°C when hot.
NiCd, NiMH0°C to 45°C
(32°F to 113°F)
–20°C to 65°C
(–4°F to 149°F)
Charge at 0.1C between – 18°C and 0°C.
Charge at 0.3C between 0°C and 5°C.
Charge acceptance at 45°C is 70%. Charge acceptance at 60°C is 45%.
Li-ion0°C to 45°C
(32°F to 113°F)
–20°C to 60°C
(–4°F to 140°F)
No charge permitted below freezing.
Good charge/discharge performance at higher temperature but shorter life.
Lead acid–20°C to 50°C
(–4°F to 122°F)
–20°C to 50°C
(–4°F to 122°F)
Charge at 0.3C or lessbelow freezing.
Lower V-threshold by 3mV/°C when hot.
NiCd, NiMH0°C to 45°C
(32°F to 113°F)
–20°C to 65°C
(–4°F to 149°F)
Charge at 0.1C between – 18°C and 0°C.
Charge at 0.3C between 0°C and 5°C.
Charge acceptance at 45°C is 70%. Charge acceptance at 60°C is 45%.
Li-ion0°C to 45°C
(32°F to 113°F)
–20°C to 60°C
(–4°F to 140°F)
No charge is permitted below freezing.
Good charge/discharge performance at higher temperatures but shorter life.

During The Colder Months, Charging Speeds Tend To Drop

It is chilly outside, so it is not easy to keep batteries from becoming cold, but there are techniques to keep them from charging slowly.

  • Warm Up The Battery

Preheating the battery is an option in many electric vehicles and may be done either before setting out on a trip or while on the route to a fast-charging station.

Afterward, the vehicle will prioritize heating the battery to operational temperature, so the charging process will not disrupt battery heating. If your electric vehicle’s make and model permit it, preheating the batteries is something you should do.

  • Put Your Charger Down For A While

If you cannot charge your EV’s batteries before a journey to get them nice and toasty, you should wait as long as possible before driving. That way, the battery may at least become lukewarm while being charged, which is healthier for the battery and speeds up the process.

As an additional option, you might try using regeneration to speed up the heating of your battery. Moreover, rapid acceleration may help heat things up, not that we condone reckless driving.

Can I Safely Charge My Electric Vehicle In The Summer?

Inspired by the angular design and metallic styling of Cybertruck, our Wireless Charging Platform provides 15W of fast charging power per device for up to three devices simultaneously,” Tesla was quoted as saying.


During the charging process, batteries might be damaged by excessive heat. Lithium ions are physically stressed and damaged when the electric current that pushes them from one node of the battery to the other reaches higher temperatures due to the increased effective force of the current.

 Because stress fractures and damage to the battery node increase with both temperature and current, it is important to keep the latter at a minimum. Secondary reactions may occur on the surfaces of these crevices and fractures, depleting the available lithium and forming compounds that obstruct the free passage of energy.

Can I charge my electric car safely during the summer? We can go into some technical details here for those interested. The anode undergoes physical stress due to intercalation, which is essential for operating a lithium-ion battery but is detailed above. 

Lithium ions intercalate more violently at higher temperatures, frequently resulting in minute fractures and fissures when the battery is charged. This creates fresh places for more SEI formation and new surfaces for chemical interactions between the anode and the accessible lithium.

In the event of any more reactions, lithium will be depleted, resulting in a decline in capacity. Further, if the ions cannot find a place to settle inside the anode grid, they may get trapped outside the anode and conduct chemical processes that produce inert compounds such as lithium plating. These two phenomena may raise the battery’s internal resistance, reducing the battery’s output power.


In conclusion, there is a discernible relationship between temperature and efficiency; in colder conditions, you may anticipate a less efficient vehicle and, thus, a shorter range. Below is a table estimating how various temperatures may affect the car.

You can see how a much colder climate may significantly affect productivity, particularly when temperatures are close to freezing. If you want to effectively manage your fleet and guarantee that your electric cars meet your needs, you need to grasp how the weather affects their performance.

There are significant distinctions between electric and gas-powered vehicles. People who do not know better make up all kinds of false information regarding EVs since they cannot tell the difference between them.


Does Temperature Have An Impact On The Range Of An Electric Vehicle?

The American Automobile Association tested many common EVs in 20F degrees of weather and discovered that the temperature alone might decrease the range by 10-12%. In comparison, using in-vehicle climate control could magnify the loss of range to 40%.

Why Does EV Range Decrease?

Expending more energy via quick acceleration, braking, or speeding reduces range. Increased temperature is one of the most often cited yet easily misunderstood causes of the decreased range.

If The Battery Becomes Too Hot, What Happens?

Phones that overheat often risk harming their batteries, slowing their performance, and shortening their lifespan. Long-term harm may also occur if you leave your phone in the car or on a hot porch.

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Bharat Suthar

I am principal creator of I like riding Electric Car, UTV in mountains and Terrain, Also I try to share all the real life experience here in the site.I am really dedicated to write about my experience. I love doing all the outdoor activity including riding electric car, dirt biking and hiking.

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