How Your Cell Phone Will Save You Money for Your EV

Lithium Battery Discharge Indicator


Cell phones and electric cars often have something in common — lithium batteries. Some of us have left our cell phones on unattended for several days, running out the battery. The phone is dead and the battery is kaput, having run down into the red range shown above. Most cell phones emit an intermittent beep when the charge has been depleted to the end of the green and into the yellow area. That is when you should recharge your cell phone promptly.

However, the warning beeps are not always noticeable. They stop before the battery is completely dead because the beeps themselves consume electricity. If your phone is not noticed during the warning period the battery is sometimes damaged or it could become permanently dead.

My cell phone was left on too long about twice and recovered when recharged. But it had a much shorter period of usage consequently owing to battery damage.* Finally I left it on too long one last time and the battery was kaput. A replacement lithium battery for a cell phone like mine costs about $8.

My cell phone does not have an OFF switch. The best policy for that type is to keep it plugged into its charger when I am not mobile. It can stay connected to its charger for several days. No problem because there is a charge controller built into the cell phone and overcharging is not possible. The charge controller maintains the lithium battery at the optimum level.

Having learned the hard way about this, I do not plan on allowing my replacement battery to go kaput. I will keep my cell phone plugged into its charger at all times when I am not on the road.

* lithium oxide buildup — the lithium is locked up and no longer works as intended


If your car has a Lithium Battery Pack it will require your care and attention. The cost of replacing the battery pack for an electric car could easily be thousands of dollars. You will want to make certain that you are using it properly and that you are recharging before it goes into the red zone.

The yellow zone in the illustration is when recharging becomes critical. This is similar to when your cell phone starts beeping. If the indicator reaches the red zone, some damage is occurring — very expensive for an EV battery pack.

There should be a battery disconnect switch which you can use when your vehicle will not be used for a long period. You should recharge it and then use that disconnect switch.

Another thing to be careful about

Your EV battery pack stores lots of energy just like you once had in a tank of gas. If you short out the battery pack that energy can be released very fast. Your whole car will burn up. So make certain that you do not allow metals, tools, wire, cable or other conductive junk or odds and ends like coins, hair pins or washers to spill into or around the batteries and their connections.

If the charge indicator shown above applied to an EV, the green area would indicate some mileage available, perhaps 25 to 100 miles. Maximum mileage would have the needle on the far left. The yellow area is when the EV must be recharged.

Most EVs will have digital readouts and careful instructions. Perhaps there will be a spoken warning. Be sure you understand and follow those instructions. A new EV battery pack will set you back quite a bit more than a replacement cell phone battery will.

Your EV battery pack may not be exactly like your cell phone battery, but it definitely will require some similar attentive care. The consequences of not paying attention to that will be expensive.

Hybrids are not the same as EVs

A hybrid will remove much of this worry because the engine-generator part will cycle on automatically before your battery pack discharges into the range of possible damage.  Therefore it may cut on even though you are not out on the highway.


One comment on “How Your Cell Phone Will Save You Money for Your EV”

  1. I have been reading out many of your posts and i must say clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

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