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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our second car is a diesel that we've barely used since the pandemic started. If my wife and I both end up going back to the office we'll need it every day but if not, we may continue to only use it rarely. The worst part about owning it is having to use it for a 15+ minute drive every 2 weeks just to keep it ticking over (i.e. ensure the battery doesn't die and fluids remain...fluid). If our rarely-used second car was an EV, would it have to be used as often as that? Is there any solid data out there on this topic?
 

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MG5
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Hi,
If you were to change your second car to an ev you need to consider if you would actually save money on fuel if you don't use it much anyway.
If your 2nd car needs replacing for a good reason ie mot failed then go for it as long as you keep the HV battery between 20-80% and check that the 12v does not drop to low then should be fine
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Fluids in the diesel will be absolutely fine. Just stick a battery conditioner on it. Only need to take it out once in a blue moon to scrape the rust off the brakes.

EV would be no different. In most cars the traction battery will lose charge very gradually, sitting for weeks isn’t an issue… unless it’s a Tesla… but the 12v battery is likely even more of a problem so you still need keep that good…. Plus brakes.

Any car is an expensive thing to have sitting around unused. I’m in a similar boat as both of us need a car for work, but I’m predominantly working from home at the moment… that could change any time and with little notice, so we just rotate the cars. I try to keep a car sitting idle for a bit at around 50% soc.
 

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2015 Golf Match Bluemotion 1.0 TSI
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We only use our ICE once a week. So I have a solar panel trickle charger on the garage roof and plug that into to the cigarette lighter socket. Keeps battery tip top, indicated by auto stop start working after a couple of hundred metres driving.
For a good few months each summer it is left parked up in the open under a car cover. I leave it in gear with hand brake off and remove the 12v battery and keep it topped up on my boat.
In general, how easy is it to get the 12v battery out of a BEV??
 

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some (most?) BEVs top up the 12v automatically from the traction battery if its detected being low voltage. So as long as you keep the main battery at a reasonable level should be fine.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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some (most?) BEVs top up the 12v automatically from the traction battery if its detected being low voltage. So as long as you keep the main battery at a reasonable level should be fine.
I’m not sure this is correct. You would have to check with the specific car. Hyundai/Kia seem to have cracked this with a 12v charge routine that runs periodically. I can’t find any information to suggest the Zoe does similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,
If you were to change your second car to an ev you need to consider if you would actually save money on fuel if you don't use it much anyway.
If your 2nd car needs replacing for a good reason ie mot failed then go for it as long as you keep the HV battery between 20-80% and check that the 12v does not drop to low then should be fine
Not concerned about fuel savings since we use it so little right now anyway.
Fluids in the diesel will be absolutely fine. Just stick a battery conditioner on it. Only need to take it out once in a blue moon to scrape the rust off the brakes.

EV would be no different. In most cars the traction battery will lose charge very gradually, sitting for weeks isn’t an issue… unless it’s a Tesla… but the 12v battery is likely even more of a problem so you still need keep that good…. Plus brakes.

Any car is an expensive thing to have sitting around unused. I’m in a similar boat as both of us need a car for work, but I’m predominantly working from home at the moment… that could change any time and with little notice, so we just rotate the cars. I try to keep a car sitting idle for a bit at around 50% soc.
We could rotate cars but we only have one baby seat and moving that is a huge pain. With neither of us working in offices right now there are not many trips without the kid. Also, who would want to use the diesel for a trip when they could use the EV? :p
some (most?) BEVs top up the 12v automatically from the traction battery if its detected being low voltage. So as long as you keep the main battery at a reasonable level should be fine.
Yeah, if we got an EV it'd have to be one that did this.
We only use our ICE once a week. So I have a solar panel trickle charger on the garage roof and plug that into to the cigarette lighter socket. Keeps battery tip top, indicated by auto stop start working after a couple of hundred metres driving.
For a good few months each summer it is left parked up in the open under a car cover. I leave it in gear with hand brake off and remove the 12v battery and keep it topped up on my boat.
In general, how easy is it to get the 12v battery out of a BEV??
Hmm that's interesting, I'll have a look into battery trickle chargers that can be used without taking the battery out of the car, thanks.
 

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Kia e-Niro 2 LR, Seat Mii
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I’m not sure this is correct. You would have to check with the specific car. Hyundai/Kia seem to have cracked this with a 12v charge routine that runs periodically. I can’t find any information to suggest the Zoe does similar.
There have been well publicised reports of the e-Niro losing 12V power so it wouldn't start. Are you saying that Kia have now fixed the problem on later models?
 

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My E Niro tops up the 12v from time to time, indicated by one of the three green charging lights illuminating. It wasn't plugged in so I wondered what it was at the time and discovered that it is the routine to top up the 12v system. There is a setting in one of the menus to set it. I think perhaps in the early days this wasn't set to on by default.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There have been well publicised reports of the e-Niro losing 12V power so it wouldn't start. Are you saying that Kia have now fixed the problem on later models?
I think even the early models had a 20-minute-per-day 12V top up. The 12V battery draining issue is separate and only affects some users. Haven't seen it myself with my MY20.
 

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If you kept the EV battery at 60% SoC then I would not be surprised if you could leave it for years without maintenance.

Eventually things like brake discs would start to rust - driving will clear the rust before it becomes catastrophic.

Some EVs use oil as a motor coolant and lubrication agent. Though there are no combustion byproducts in this, it might become 'sludgy' after a while if not occasionally pumped. However, just turning the car on and putting it in drive for a few minutes should run the pump (on Model 3 the pump is independent and electric, not driven from a motor gear or something like that.)
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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My E Niro tops up the 12v from time to time, indicated by one of the three green charging lights illuminating. It wasn't plugged in so I wondered what it was at the time and discovered that it is the routine to top up the 12v system. There is a setting in one of the menus to set it. I think perhaps in the early days this wasn't set to on by default.
Exactly this, I think it might even have been removed as an option from the menu in later firmware, that might just be the Kona. The early issues seem to have been a combination of the periodic 12v charging not being turned on by default and batteries being drained while on ships from South Korea. Deep discharge will damage most lead acid batteries.
 

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I am considering laying up my Leaf 30 for a few months over winter, do not see any issues as mentioned above or in this article.

 
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