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What will happen to an electric car battery if I let it sit for long periods?

I’m considering buying an electric car for a family vacation house in another state. At times, the car will sit for as long as two months without anyone driving it. Will the battery be ok if I leave it unplugged for that long?

  1. Do a web search for a Chevrolet Bolt Forum 2. Ask the service department at your local dealer

Good question. Batteries will be permanently degraded if they go too low. Depending on how smart the charger is they also can be damaged by long term charging. Agree with “Volvo”, check with the manufacturer and the Bolt forums. This also may be covered in the owners manual of the car you are considering.

Another thing to consider is how much you expect to drive the car over the next 8-10 years as batteries have a finite lifetime, even if used lightly. The economics of an electric car probably are decent if you drive 10kmi/yr, maybe not so good if only 3kmi.

I thought this thread was about the Chevrolet Bolt but that does not appear in the header anymore. I just saw that the Bolt starts at 36000.00 . That sounds way too expensive for something at a vacation home. I think a nice used gas small hatchback would make more sense at least you would not have to charge when you went there.

Pretty sure that you do NOT want to leave an EV siting for months. I know that’s a no-no for my hybrid. Just buy a gas-only compact car and a battery tender.

Thank you!

Good idea, thank you!

Thank you very much!

Here are the instructions from the Chevy Bolt owner’s manual:

Four Weeks to 12 Months
. Discharge the high voltage
battery until two or three bars
remain on the battery range
indicator (Battery symbol) on the
instrument cluster.
. Do not plug in the charge cord.
. Remove the black negative (−)
cable from the 12-volt battery
and attach a trickle charger to
the battery terminals or keep the
12-volt battery cables connected
and trickle charge from the
underhood remote positive (+)
and negative (−) terminals. See
Jump Starting - North America
0 295 for the location of these
The vehicle is equipped with an
AGM/VRLA 12-volt battery, which
can be damaged by using the
Caution (Continued)
incorrect type of trickle charger.
An AGM/VRLA-compatible
charger must be used, with the
appropriate setting selected.
Follow the trickle charger
manufacturer instructions.
After the battery cable is
reconnected, it is possible that the
vehicle may not operate. If this
happens, the high voltage battery
may need to be charged.

Thank you very much!