Quick car review finder - select below

Ask Us Anything

Please ask your question in the box below. We will answer it as soon as possible.

Please note that we may edit the text of your question and that, if you provide your name and town, these will appear with your question. No other personal or contact information will be displayed or made public.

Top Catgories

Is a car's battery charged by the engine?

Can you tell me, if the battery is low on a journey can it be charged by the engine?

Filed under electric cars - Asked by Jim Mctiernan (Sligo) - Wed, 14 Oct 2020 19:46


Shane O' Donoghue Answered by: Shane O' Donoghue - Complete Car Advisor - @Shane_O_D

Answer

Hi Jim,

If you're talking about a regular combustion-engined petrol or diesel car and their 12-volt battery, then yes, assuming the alternator is working properly, it will be driven by the engine and will charge up the battery so long as the electrical load from the battery is less than it can supply.

If you're referring to plug-in hybrids, and their high-voltage lithium-ion batteries, then it's not as simple as that and it differs per model and even depends on the driving mode. Most will, by default, use the battery to the fullest before starting up the engine and then may not charge the battery much except for kinetic energy recovered during braking. The idea is that you plug them in to charge up the battery regularly for maximum efficiency. However, most of them have a setting to override that and actively charge up the battery using the engine. It's usually activated by a button or option in the infotainment menu.

0 responses