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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During the winter I will be driving my plow truck rather than the ID.4. This will be my first EV and I was wondering if there was anything that needed to be done if I put the car in storage for 4-6 months. I have 2 ICE vehicles I put in storage for the winter and I need to either disconnect their batteries, put them on trickle chargers or the battery gets killed.
Maybe refresh the charge once a month or does the battery have enough capacity so it is not an issue?
 

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During the winter I will be driving my plow truck rather than the ID.4. This will be my first EV and I was wondering if there was anything that needed to be done if I put the car in storage for 4-6 months. I have 2 ICE vehicles I put in storage for the winter and I need to either disconnect their batteries, put them on trickle chargers or the battery gets killed.
Maybe refresh the charge once a month or does the battery have enough capacity so it is not an issue?
Another possible problem is the 12V battery, we will need to see how well VW did with 12V battery management. I think beginning with Chevy Volt Gen 2, the 12V battery is checked once in a while and charged as needed (either from the charge station if plugged in or by the traction battery).

Hyundai EVs have had a pretty well known problem of running down the 12V battery if not used regularly.

One option might be to set the charging % to the lowest option, then just leave it plugged in during storage. Or, just check on it every two weeks to a month and start it up and see how it is doing.

It is crucial to not let the traction battery go to "0%" and stay there, however usually what takes an EV out first is a 12V battery failure.

BTW, many EV drivers (since Volt) carry one of those small LI 12V starter battery like the NOCO GB40 (there are a gazillion options now). They key is that an EV has no high load starter motor, it takes very little 12 V current to bring a "dead" EV back to life if the 12V battery is not shorted (usually not).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Last winter I forgot to put a trickle charger on my Z3 and in the spring the 2 year old battery was dead, no hope of recovery. That was a $180 mistake I don't want to make again. So this is an area I am cautious about.
Being the EV newbie that I am, I didn't realize that there was a separate 12v battery in the car.
 

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For the 12V battery a typical 120V battery maintainer (Not ol' school 'trickle charger') is the way to go for long absences. I've used Battery Tender Junior products for many years, both their indoor and weather resistant products.

"Deep Cycle" 12V batteries better withstand deep depletions with a good chance of recovery but not so standard batteries. Keep in mind that when you charge a lead-acid battery you're withstoring its chemical energy and at a point it is not chemistry/materials technology possible to do so.
btw: Many folks think that all Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) are deep cycle but unless specifically listed as same they too are just standard lead acid but in a better cylindrical packaging (better in that it may be placed in multiple orientations).
 

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In an EV, the 12V battery typically powers the computers, and all of the regular stuff powered by 12V in an ICE car, door locks, blower fans, lights, etc.

The difference is that there is a DC to DC power converter which provides 12V to charge and maintain the 12V battery and 12V battery bus during operation. The converter provides power from the high voltage traction battery (hundreds of volts) to the 12V battery and battery bus.

There are different models on how the 12V battery is charged, sometimes only during operation, others maintain the battery when charging, or even when dormant (from the traction battery).

The 12V battery can be of small capacity, because when driving, most of the energy is actually being supplied by the DC to DC converter (Chevy, for example, calls it the auxiliary power module (APM)). For technical types, you can think of the 12V battery during EV operation as a capacitor on the 12V bus.

Another tip, which may or may not apply to VW EVs is that beginning with Volt may EV drivers also carried a 10 mm socket wrench, because some odd/weird computer glitches could be cleared by momentarily disconnecting the 12V battery (tens of seconds to minutes) to "cold boot" the car. There may be cases where this fix is not good (e.g. if it resets fault codes, or loses user configurations). OTOH, if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, and it fixes the glitch ...
 

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There are two Tesla Model 3 owners in my Condo. Both went away for six months and just returned. One left with 80% charge and the other with 100%. Both had more than 100 miles indicated range remaining. My BMW PHEV recharges the 12v battery when the car is in operation. During Covid shutdown, I have been careful to run my wife's car every 2 weeks, or so, to avoid the dead battery problem I have had in the past with a 911--which seem to have a much higher parasitic drain than my other cars. I hold a reservation for a FE, but have not been contacted by VW. I think my reservation was toward the tail-end.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread, but this discussion was really before anyone had their ID.4. I will probably leaving my ID.4 for up to 6 weeks at a time and want to make sure I don't return to something being dead. Do I simply charge to 80% and leave it in the garage (EV charger plugged in or not), do I hook up a battery tender or do I disconnect something.

Any real world experience with the ID.4 and extended storage?
 

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I left mine for 3 weeks, plugged in at 50%. Came back and had no issues with it or loss of charge. I would just put a little extra air in the tires so you don't get flat spots. When you get back, you can easily just release them down to your normal psi.
 

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I left mine for 3 weeks, plugged in at 50%. Came back and had no issues with it or loss of charge. I would just put a little extra air in the tires so you don't get flat spots. When you get back, you can easily just release them down to your normal psi.
Just to clarify, when you say plugged in, you are talking about the EV charger, not a battery tender. Correct?
 

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Just to clarify, when you say plugged in, you are talking about the EV charger, not a battery tender. Correct?
Correct. Although that makes me wonder if the car checks the 12v every once in a while to see if it needs to be charged up and if so, it charges it. That would make sense, but these are the things that we are not told. I couldn’t find anything in the manual about long term storage, but with the car being so new, I figured 3 weeks won’t drain the 12v. But it would be nice to know down the road when the car is a few years old and we need to let it sit for weeks at a time.
 

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I couldn’t find anything in the manual about long term storage
I don't remember the page but the manual does state to leave the vehicle plugged into the EVSE if stored for a period of time. That will allow the vehicle to monitor and condition the battery as necessary. I don't remember if it mentioned whether the 12v battery is monitored but I hope and assume it would be in a 2021+ EV.

The best practice for longevity of the traction battery while being stored is to maintain it at a 50% SOC rather than 80%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Correct. Although that makes me wonder if the car checks the 12v every once in a while to see if it needs to be charged up and if so, it charges it. That would make sense, but these are the things that we are not told.
With the original software, for some reason the 12v battery was being drained, sometimes overnight. At the time VW supposedly was not sure what was causing the drain. Starting with software rev 2.0, the car now occasionally checks the status of the 12v battery and if it is low, then the 12v battery gets recharged from the 'traction' battery. Software rev 2.0 was released in Dec 2020. "Battery Life" has videos showing the issue and details the software 'fix'.
 
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