Do Electric Cars Stop Charging When Full?

A lot of the questions that new electric car owners have is about charging their EVs. 🔌 Unlike conventional combustion engine vehicles, where you only have to top up at a refuelling station, electric cars need to be plugged in for a certain period before its ready to drive again.

Some EVs have faster charging times, and then combine that with a rapid charger, then you won’t have to wait more than half an hour for the battery to reach 80%.

But if you plug in an electric car overnight, will it stop charging when full? Let’s find out!

Charging Your EV at Home

EV owners typically charge their cars through a dedicated home charging station. As soon as they get home from work, they plug in the charging cable and then leave it like that for the rest of the night.

Various car makers actually developed apps so that electric car owners can set the charging time using their smartphones. With this app, they can set the start time as well as the end time whenever their cars are plugged in.

Other than that, the app also allows owners to schedule the charging period during off-peak hours so that electricity is less expensive, and they’ll be able to save more. 

Is it okay to leave my EV plugged in overnight?

You might be worried that leaving your electric car connected to the power outlet overnight will damage the battery. However, this isn’t something to lose sleep over.

It’s standard practice to charge an electric car overnight because that’s typically the length of time it needs to reach 100% charge. 

Also, EVs have built-in battery management systems that eliminate the risk of overcharging. This means the car can slow down the charging process once it detects the battery is getting near full charge.

If it does reach 100% and the car is still plugged in, then the system will switch to trickle charging. The battery will self-discharge so that it will be drained slightly, and then it will be recharged intermittently. 

Electric cars, even when parked, also continue to use up power from their batteries so that certain components can function.

With trickle charging, your car EV will be kept fully charged until the point when you unplug the charging cable. It prevents the electric car battery from being overcharged.

Overnight charging is ideal if you’re going to have a long drive the following morning. This ensures you’ll have the battery power you need to reach your destination

Can I leave my EV plugged in for days?

Another question that EV owners have is whether to leave their cars charging if they’ll be gone for a few days. Since the car uses up battery power even if it’s not being driven, many owners worry that the battery might be drained completely when they return.

So, is it okay to keep the car plugged in so the battery will continue to be on a trickle charge? There’s no definite answer to this that will cover all types of electric car models and brands.

The best way to go about it is to consult your owner’s manual or check the information available on the manufacturer’s website. You’d want to have a specific answer that won’t leave you wondering or second-guessing yourself whether you’ve done the right thing. 

Generally, an electric car can be left plugged in for a number of weeks, and it will still be fine. However, since it needs to sustain that full charge for a long period, then the battery might degrade a lot faster.

This means if you keep on trickle charging the battery, it can affect its lifespan negatively. As you know, batteries for electric cars are expensive, so you’d want to take good care of the one you have.

You won’t have to think about replacing it for a good number of years if you stick with the best practices of EV charging. 

Effects of Prolonged Full Charge on EV Battery

There’s no need to worry about overcharging the battery of your electric car because it has a system built in that prevents this from happening.

However, if the battery has to sustain full capacity for an extended period, then it can start to have negative effects on the battery’s lifespan.

For example, leaving your car plugged in for more than eight hours after it’s been fully charged, the battery might degrade faster. 

EV batteries will normally degrade in time. Gradually, this degradation will reduce the range of your electric car, which is 2.3% per year on average.

But this isn’t bad news because, with the technology we have today, most EV batteries can outlive the cars themselves. If you want to make sure that your electric car battery continues to function at its best, avoid charging it for too long after it has reached 100% charge.

Also, don’t wait for the battery to go below 30% before you plug it in. 


If your EV manufacturer has an app available for car owners, make sure you use it so that you can conveniently set the start and end times for charging your electric vehicle.

Even without the app, you can leave your electric car plugged in overnight because its built-in battery management system prevents overcharging from happening through trickle charging.

In case you need to be away for some time, you can charge your EV and allow it to reach 100%. As soon as it is fully charged, unplug it.

This, along with other best practices, ensures your battery will not degrade prematurely.  👍