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If you’re new to electric vehicles or are already looking for options for an upcoming purchase, you may not know that in addition to the high-voltage battery that powers the motor, they also use the same 12-volt batteries that gas-powered ones do vehicles. And yes, these 12 volt batteries can lose their charge and prevent the car from starting.
But the good news is that they can also be started with jump start – even with the help of a gas-powered vehicle. In an article for Kelley Blue Book, Chris Hardesty breaks the whole process up. Here’s what you should know.
Safety concerns when jump starting a battery in an electric vehicle
Before we dive into jump-start help, we wanted to point out a few safety concerns Hardesty comes up in the article:
- While it is possible to bypass the 12 volt battery in an electric vehicle, never attempt to start your high voltage lithium ion batteries.
- Do not use an electric vehicle (EV) to jump start another 12 volt battery. “The charging points of the electric vehicle are used to jump-start the car itself and not to help another vehicle jump-start.” Hardness writes.
- The vehicle that is used to jump start the electric vehicle must have a 12-volt battery with a negative ground system, which Hardness says, is typical of gas-powered cars.
- The instructions below provide a general overview of how to jump-start EV batteries. However, read the owner’s manual first in case a particular brand / model requires special treatment.
- You can also use a portable jump starter for an electric vehicle’s 12-volt battery.
How to start a 12-volt battery in a jump-start electric vehicle
In his article, Hardesty offers the following instructions to jump start a discharged 12 volt battery in an electric vehicle:
- Position the cars. Place the two vehicles, the EV and the vehicle with a good battery, close together so they don’t touch.
- Apply the brake. Shift into parking position and apply the parking brake.
- Turn everything off. Check and make sure you turn off the lights and accessories in both vehicles.
- Connect positive terminals. Now you can connect one end of the red positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal of the discharged battery. When you are finished, connect the other end of the positive (+) jump lead to the positive (+) terminal on the jump start vehicle battery.
- Attach negative clamps. Next, connect one end of the black negative (-) cable to the negative (-) terminal of the good battery. Now connect the negative (-) jump lead to the negative (-) ground point of the discharged battery.
- Check. Make sure that the jump leads are removed from moving parts and that the clips are making good metal-to-metal contact with the battery posts and charging points.
- Starts the car of the donation vehicle. Take the vehicle with the good battery and start the car.
- Start the EV. Finally, try to start the EV with the dead battery.
Read Full article from Hardesty for additional tips, including removing the jumper cables.
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