Frequently charging your mobile phone in your car may not be the optimal approach for preserving battery health. While it serves as a convenient solution in a pinch, relying on it as a regular practice can potentially lead to certain issues.
Let’s explore these downsides, whether your vehicle employs the traditional wired charging method through USB or employs a more contemporary approach with a wireless charging pad.
Charging in the car: Convenient Yet Not Recommended
The presence of a USB port in our vehicles has undeniably become one of the significant conveniences in recent automotive developments. These ports serve various purposes, from playing music through a USB drive to connecting a cable for charging our mobile phones. However, is this practice advisable? Not exactly.
Car USB ports were originally intended for tasks that do not demand substantial power and do not involve continuous energy transfer. They typically offer lower amperage levels than what current devices require, which typically necessitate around 2 to 3 amps for efficient charging. Consequently, using these ports for mobile phone charging can result in slow recharging rates. It’s worth noting that both excessively slow and extremely fast charging can have detrimental effects on battery longevity.
The majority of smartphones available today feature lithium-ion batteries, a technology that has largely replaced older materials such as nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium due to their limited charge cycles and short lifespans. However, lithium-ion batteries come with their own set of weaknesses, including sensitivity to temperature extremes. This means that charging your phone in a vehicle with an excessively hot or cold cabin environment may not be advisable.
Moreover, the misuse of charging cables can pose risks. Many users opt for non-original charging cables when connecting their phones to the car’s USB port. In some cases, these non-standard cables not only result in slow charging but can also lead to issues with the device’s circuitry. Some of these cables fail to discontinue the current output promptly upon detecting that the battery is fully charged. This residual current can ultimately lead to battery degradation and a reduction in its overall lifespan.
Drawbacks of Wireless Chargers
While wireless chargers, including the integrated bases found in many models, do address several of the issues mentioned earlier, they are not without their own set of challenges. Primarily, in the case of induction charging, the phone tends to exert more effort during the charging process.
Furthermore, wireless charging tends to generate additional heat and requires more energy to replenish a battery of equivalent size. According to calculations by OneZero, for instance, wireless charging consumes approximately 47% more energy to charge a mobile phone from 0 to 100% compared to traditional cable charging.