When Tesla recently introduced the LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries into the made-in-China Model 3 earlier this month, we knew it extended the range of the EV.
What we didn’t know is that, unlike the conventional NCA (nickel cobalt aluminum) batteries used before it, you can apparently safely charge it to 100% without harming the lifespan of the battery.
The shift in recommended charging habits came from Tesla’s Customer Support account on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. In the posting (at the bottom of this article), the automaker actually recommends charging to 100% at least once a week to help “balance the voltage between the battery packs.” This can also help the computer maintain and display accurate range estimates.
Here is a full translation of the posting (via Teslarati):
“The new standard endurance upgraded Model 3 equipped with lithium iron phosphate battery can be charged without considering the charging limit, and it can be fully charged!
The new Model 3 standard battery life upgrade version cancels the [daily use/long-distance travel] suggestion on the charging settings page, that is, car owners do not need to worry about whether they can be fully charged during daily charging.
We recommend that you charge the vehicle to 100% at least once a week. This helps to balance the voltage between the battery packs, and over time can also maintain accurate estimates of the vehicle and display the remaining power.”
This is in direct contrast to what Tesla has recommended up to this point, saying a full charge should only happen if you are about to go on a long drive. In fact, the automaker has even said leaving it at 100% can harm the battery.
While the Model 3 in North America doesn’t have the LFP battery (yet?), we did get a number of changes to the design that have increased the range and performance.