4 Charging Tips for Lithium-Ion Batteries

April 2, 2024
State of charge is a key stat to know to help batteries power up correctly.

Volvo, which has been at the forefront of the charge toward electric equipment with a line of commercially available mini excavators and small wheel loaders, as well as the 23-ton EC230 Electric excavator, has come up with four tips for charging lithium-ion batteries.

The tips can help ensure there is plenty of power for electric equipment when needed. They will also serve to limit battery degradation over time, Volvo says.

  1. Keep the electric machine at around 90% state of charge (SOC) and refrain from charging up to 100% too often.
  2. Avoid allowing the battery to get too low. If the machine isn’t going to be used for an extended period, keep it around 40% to 50% (a fully charged battery has a higher self-discharge rate).
  3. Try to use an AC slow charger at least once a week and let the battery management system (BMS) balance the battery packs.
  4. Precondition the machine, particularly during cold winter months. This may involve warming up the battery pack or machine to an appropriate temperature range to enhance the efficiency of the charging process. Through preconditioning, the battery’s internal temperature is brought to an ideal level, allowing for more effective charging, and potentially extending overall battery life.

Read also: Turner Tests Volvo EC230 Electric Excavator on Earthmoving Tasks

Volvo notes that for its electric equipment, the SOC window is between 10% and 90%; the SOC window for cars is wider. An electric machine showing 0% SOC is really 10% for the battery and showing 100% SOC is actually 90%. This helps prolong battery life.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.