The Pros and Cons of Idling an Electric Car



Explore EV Charging Solutions! Visit & Leave Your Contact Now!



7 Dec 2023 8 mins to read

Main topics:

Idling an electric car can be great for a variety of reasons, but like most things, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of idling an electric car so you can decide whether or not it is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Idling an Electric Car

Pros of Idling an Electric Car

  • Cost Savings: One of the main advantages of idling your electric car is that it saves money. The cost of electricity can vary depending on your region, but it’s usually much less expensive than petrol. This means that you can save money on fuel while still enjoying the convenience of having a car.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs: Another benefit of idling your electric car is that it requires very little routine maintenance compared to a petrol-engine car. This is because electric motors are much simpler and more efficient than petrol ones, meaning that they require less regular checking and replacement parts.
  • Environmental Benefits: Idling your electric car is also great for the environment. Electric cars emit no exhaust fumes, so you can reduce your carbon footprint and help keep the air clean.
  • Learn about the expenses involved in EV infrastructure by exploring how much a commercial EV charging station costs.

    Quieter Ride: Electric cars are much quieter than those with petrol engines, so if you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing ride, then idling your electric car might be the perfect solution.

Cons of Idling an Electric Car

  • Limited Range: One major downside of idling your electric car is that you will be limited in terms of how far you can go. Electric cars usually have a limited range of around 100 miles or so, so this may not be suitable if you’re planning to go on a long journey.
  • Higher Initial Costs: Another potential issue with idling an electric car is that you may need to spend more money upfront. Electric cars are usually more expensive to purchase than petrol cars, so you need to factor this into your budget.
  • Charging Time:

    Find specialized help with our list of electric charging station installation contractors.

    The charging time for electric cars can vary depending on the model, but it is often much slower than that of a petrol vehicle. This means that you may need to leave it idling for longer periods to get the full range from your car.
  • Infrastructure: Finally, you also need to consider the infrastructure in your area when it comes to idling an electric car. Not all areas have adequate charging infrastructure, so you need to check whether you have access to the necessary charging stations before you commit.

Overall, idling an electric car can have a range of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before you make a decision. Consider your needs, budget, and lifestyle before you decide whether or not idling your electric car is right for you.

Idle Time How Keeping Your Electric Car Running Affects Battery Life and Efficiency

What is Idle Time for Electric Cars?

Experience the future of eco-friendly travel with our state-of-the-art charging station, designed to keep you moving seamlessly on your journey.

Idle time is when your car is in a parked position but the engine is still running. Technically, electric cars don't have an engine, but for simplicity's sake, we'll refer to the power source as an engine. Occasionally, drivers will leave their car running with the AC or heating on for a few minutes while they run a quick errand. However, those few minutes of idle time may have a more significant impact on the car's battery life than you may think.

How Does Idle Time Affect Electric Cars?

Electric car batteries aren't like your average batteries. They are complex and designed to operate in specific ways that maintain their efficiency and prolong their life cycle. When your car is running while parked, it may seem harmless, but underlying processes are occurring that impact your battery's life and your car's efficiency.

Decreased Battery Life

Idle time puts strain on the battery and drains energy even if you're not driving. Your car's battery will continue to work harder than it needs to, and the extra energy usage can decrease your battery's lifespan.

Reduced Efficiency

Your electric car's battery is designed to efficiently provide power to the vehicle when driving. When the car is idling, that battery power or capacity is being used up without any benefit. You're not going anywhere, and the battery is powering supply and demand for things like the air conditioner and heating without the car's movement. This can reduce the car's efficiency significantly.

Here are some Points to Consider:

  • Electric cars are designed to provide maximum efficiency while driving.
  • Idle time can hurt an electric car's efficiency and shorten the life span of its battery.
  • When your car is idle, it is still consuming battery power, which is being used without any benefit, resulting in loss of power and increased strain on the battery.
  • Avoid leaving your electric car idle for long periods, as it can drain your car's battery quickly.
  • Preconditioning your vehicle before you go out will improve energy efficiency

The Takeaway

Electric cars are not just innovative, environmentally friendly vehicles; they are slaying the market, one charge at a time. Owning one has many advantages, such as quiet drives, low maintenance, and fewer harmful emissions. However, as an electric vehicle owner, you also need to know how to care for your car to maintain its efficiency. Avoid leaving your car idle and follow the manufacturer's instructions for charging and other essential car care tips. This can protect your investment and ultimately save you money.

Remember, your electric car's battery life and efficiency play a crucial role. Maintaining your vehicle's good condition can get you more mileage and better performance in the long run.

To Idle or Not to Idle Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Leaving Your Electric Car on Standby

Leaving your electric car on standby can lead to some advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. Let's take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your electric car on standby.

Advantages of Leaving Your Electric Car on Standby

Climate control

Leaving your electric car on standby can preserve the climate control in your vehicle for longer periods. The climate control system will keep your car cool in hot weather and warm during the winter months. Thus, allowing you to save time, energy, and money in the long run.

Battery preservation

When an electric vehicle is in use, there is a risk of burning out the battery. Leaving your electric car on standby reduces the risk of wearing out your vehicle's battery. In the long term, this reduces the need to buy a new battery regularly, which results in significant savings.


Leaving the electric car on standby can enable you to activate preconditioning before starting your journey. Preconditioning prepares the battery and adjusts the temperature for the driver's improved comfort. This enhances the overall driving experience and can save on energy.

Disadvantages of Leaving Your Electric Car on Standby

Reduced Battery Life

Leaving the electric car on standby can reduce the battery life of your vehicle. If the battery drains completely, there is a chance that it may never recharge completely. This issue leads to severe battery damage, which ultimately means that you'll need to be able to replace it.

Energy Wastage

Leaving the electric car on standby for a long time can lead to energy wastage, resulting in reflected on your monthly electric bill. Energy wastage occurs as the car's battery loses power, and you will be using more energy to fill it up than just using it initially.

Toxic Emissions and Pollution

Leaving your electric car on standby produces some level of toxic emissions and pollution, even though electric cars have zero emissions. Overcharging your battery will result in increasing risks of toxic emissions and pollution. In conclusion, the question remains, should you leave your electric car on standby? The good thing about electric cars is that they have an instant start and shutdown feature. Thus, the vehicle will consume minimal energy. It is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your electric car on standby. You should never keep your electric car on standby, especially for long periods, as the battery may overheat, resulting in severe damage. Therefore, it's best to turn off your electric car when not in use.

Advancements in EV technology, including faster charging and battery-freezing systems, will eliminate the need for you to idle your car. The best strategy is to make sure that your EV is charging when it's idle, and that you get the most out of your vehicle. Remember, leaving your car plugged in, while idle, can also lead to a lot of energy wastage. So, don't think that you're doing the environment any favors by idling your car too often.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Letting Your Electric Vehicle Run When Parked

Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of letting your EV run when parked.

The Advantages of Letting Your EV Run When Parked

  • Faster Charging Times: If your EV is charging while parked, leaving it running can help it charge more quickly. This is because the car's battery management system can use energy from the charging process to power the car's systems while it's running, rather than storing that energy in the battery. As a result, you may be able to charge your car faster and get back on the road sooner, especially if you have a home charging setup.
  • Comfort and Convenience: If you're parked in a cold or hot environment, running your EV can help keep you comfortable while you wait. Many EVs offer features like heated or cooled seats, which can be a real lifesaver in extreme temperatures. Additionally, running the car's climate control system while parked can help keep the interior at a more comfortable temperature for passengers or pets.
  • Battery Maintenance: Letting your EV run can help preserve the battery's longevity, especially if you're parked in a location with extreme temperatures. By running the car's cooling or heating systems while parked, you can help prevent the battery from overheating or experiencing other issues that can shorten its lifespan. This can help you get more miles out of your EV over time.

The Disadvantages of Letting Your EV Run When Parked

  • Battery Drain: Running your EV when parked uses up energy from the battery, which can shorten its overall range if you're not careful. While this is less of an issue if you're parked at home and have access to charging, it can be a problem if you're parked in a public place for an extended period. Additionally, if you're running multiple systems in the car (like air conditioning and infotainment), you may use up even more energy than you realize.
  • Noise Pollution: Letting your EV run can be noisy, which can be a problem for you or the people around you. While EVs are generally quieter than gas-powered cars, they can still emit a hum or whine when the car is turned on. This can be a nuisance if you're parked in a residential area or other location where people are trying to sleep or work.
  • Safety Concerns: Leaving your EV running when parked can be a safety hazard if you're not careful. If you're parked in an enclosed space like a garage, running the car can cause dangerous fumes to accumulate. Additionally, if you're parked on a slope or uneven surface, running the car can cause it to shift or move, which could be dangerous for you or others around you.


Ultimately, whether or not you choose to let your EV run when parked depends on your personal preferences and the conditions in which you're parked. If you're parked at home and have a charging setup, running your EV can be a great way to charge more quickly and stay comfortable while you wait. However, if you're parked in a public space or in a location where noise or safety concerns are an issue, it may be best to turn off the car and wait until you're on the road again.

By being aware of the benefits and drawbacks of letting your EV run when parked, you can make an informed decision that works best for you and your car. Whether it's charging more quickly, staying comfortable in extreme temperatures, or preserving your battery's lifespan, there are plenty of reasons to run your EV when parked - just make sure you understand the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them.

Idling an Electric Car Is it Worth the Cost and Environmental Impact

The Lowdown on Idling an Electric Car

First things first: what exactly does it mean to idle an electric car? Idling refers to when a vehicle is running but isn’t moving. This could be when you’re waiting for a red light to turn green, or if you’re parked and still have the car turned on. It’s important to note that idling an electric car is different from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, which consume fuel, even when they’re not moving!

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of idling for electric car owners:


  • Comfort – Idling allows you to keep the air conditioning or heating running, so you’re always comfortable while waiting.
  • Convenience – If you’re making a quick stop at a store and don’t want to turn the car off and on, idling can be a quick and convenient option.
  • Battery Preservation – Some electric car owners believe that idling can help preserve the battery in certain situations, such as when it’s extremely cold outside.


  • Battery Drain – The biggest downside of idling an electric car is that it can quickly drain the battery. Every minute you spend idling uses up precious battery life.
  • Environmental Impact – While electric cars are cleaner than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, idling still contributes to air pollution. This is because the car’s heating and cooling system uses energy, which comes from the car’s battery.

How Much Does Idling Cost an Electric Car Owner?

The cost of idling an electric car depends on how often you do it and how long you idle. As we mentioned earlier, every minute of idling uses up battery life, which can quickly add up. Here’s a breakdown of how much power different components in an electric car use:

  • Heating and air conditioning – 1-7 kWh per hour
  • Lights – 100-200 watts per hour
  • Radio – 50-100 watts per hour

If you’re idling for an hour with the air conditioning on, you could be using up to 7 kWh of battery life! This can have a significant impact on the range of your electric car, especially if you’re already low on battery.

Is Idling an Electric Car Worth It?

So, is idling an electric car worth it? The answer depends on your situation. If you’re doing a quick stop-and-go and don’t want to have to turn the car off and on, idling for a few minutes won’t have a huge impact on your battery life or the environment. However, if you’re idling for extended periods, it’s best to turn your car off and preserve your battery.

An important thing to keep in mind is that idling an electric car isn’t the same as idling a traditional gasoline-powered car. While idling a gas car wastes fuel and contributes to air pollution, electric cars don’t have the same level of emissions, but they do use up precious battery life.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when considering whether or not to idle your electric car:

  • Idling uses energy and can drain your battery life quickly.
  • Every minute you spend idling contributes to air pollution, particularly if you’re running the heat or A/C.
  • If you’re parked and not moving for an extended period, it’s best to turn the car off and preserve your battery life.
  • Quick stops and starts won’t have a significant impact on your battery or the environment, so idling for a few minutes is okay.

In conclusion, idling an electric car is a bit of a mixed bag. While it can be convenient and comfortable in certain situations, it can also drain your battery and contribute to air pollution. As an electric car owner, it’s important to be mindful of your idling habits and make the best decision for your battery life and the environment.

Electric Car Idling Balancing Convenience with Sustainability and Economic Concerns

Though it might not seem like a big deal, idling can have a significant impact on both the sustainability and economic concerns associated with electric cars.

What is idling?

Idling occurs when a car is running but not moving. This can happen when the car is parked or stopped at a stop light. While idling might seem harmless, it can hurt the environment and your wallet.

The environmental impact of idling

When a car is idling, it is still emitting pollutants into the air. These pollutants can include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. Idling can produce more pollutants than driving at low speeds. These pollutants have been linked to several health problems, including respiratory issues and heart disease.

In addition to emitting pollutants, idling also contributes to climate change. When a car is idling, it is producing carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Idling cars produce an estimated 30 million tons of carbon dioxide each year in the United States alone.

The economic impact of idling

Idling can also hurt your wallet. When a car is idling, it is burning fuel without going anywhere. This means that you are wasting gas and money. Idling for just 10 minutes a day can cost you up to $70 a year in wasted fuel.

In addition to wasting fuel, idling can also lead to increased maintenance costs. When a car is idling, it is not operating at its optimal temperature. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine, which can result in costly repairs down the road.

How to balance convenience with sustainability and economic concerns

While idling can hurt both the environment and your wallet, there are ways to balance convenience with sustainability and economic concerns. Here are some tips:

  • Turn off your car if you know you will be stopped for more than 30 seconds.
  • Use a remote starter so that you can warm up or cool down your car before you get in without idling.
  • Carpool or take public transportation to reduce the number of cars on the road.
  • Opt for electric cars that have shorter warm-up times and longer battery life, allowing the car owner to modify his/her driving behavior less frequently.

Key takeaways

Electric cars are a great choice for those who care about the environment and want to save money on gas. However, it is important to remember that idling can have a significant impact on both the sustainability and economic concerns associated with electric cars. By taking steps to reduce idling, we can help minimize the negative impact that electric cars can have on the environment and our wallets.


Add comment

santos smallwood12/7/2023, 2:37:51 PM
Idling an electric car? Nah, man, that's a waste of energy. You're just burning up precious electricity for no reason. Keep that shit off if you're not moving, save the planet and your money, bro.
lelia moldenhauer9/27/2023, 6:18:42 PM
Anyone ever wondered if idling an electric car is bad for the battery life in the long run?
Okay, so I got a question. What's the point of idling an electric car anyway? Why not just turn it off and save that battery power?
Yo, I heard idling an electric car ain't great for the battery. Can someone confirm this? I don't wanna mess up my ride.
Yo, idling an electric car ain't no good, man. You're just eating up that precious battery, and it's gonna kill your range. Not worth it, for real.
Idling an electric car is totally unnecessary, fam. Just turn it off and conserve that battery power, you know what I mean?
Honestly, I don't know if I'd risk idling an electric car. Battery technology is expensive, and I can't afford to replace it often. Can anyone relate?
Idling an electric car seems pointless to me. Just wasting energy and killing the planet. Can't we find a better way to kill time?
Idling an electric car on a hot day can actually wear down the air conditioning system faster. Just a thought.
Pros: Saves gas, reduces emissions, less noise pollution. Cons: Wastes battery, decreases range, not good for the environment.
Quick question, does idling negatively impact the lifespan of an electric car's battery? Need answers, folks.
sirena weinfeld8/20/2023, 9:00:00 PM
If you're idling an electric car for more than 10 minutes, it's really not worth it. You're just hurting your battery.
Hey guys, just wanted to talk about the pros and cons of idling an electric car. Anyone got any thoughts on this?
candie vonruden8/18/2023, 6:45:53 PM
Alright, let's get real for a second. Is idling an electric car just a lazy habit or a legitimate concern? Thoughts?
So, what happens if you idle an electric car for too long? Does it overheat or something?

Stay updated

Keep an eye on EV Charging news and updates for your business! We'll keep you posted
Energy5 EV Charging solutions comprise a full range of end-to-end turnkey services for businesses. From permitting to incentive acquisition to installation, management software, and down-the-road maintenance, Energy5 streamlines the whole process every step of the way.
300 W Somerdale Rd, Suite 5, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
Email address
Phone number
(856) 412-4645
Energy5 EV Charging solutions comprise a full range of end-to-end turnkey services for businesses. From permitting to incentive acquisition to installation, management software, and down-the-road maintenance, Energy5 streamlines the whole process every step of the way.
300 W Somerdale Rd, Suite 5, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
Email address
Phone number
(856) 412-4645