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What is a charging cycle, and why are there increasingly more of them?

What is a charging cycle, and why are there increasingly more of them?

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Truck battery charging cycle

Charging and discharging the battery is called the charging cycle. If half of the battery charge is discharged and then recharged, this is referred to as a 50% charging cycle. If the battery is fully discharged and then re-charged, this is a hundred percent charging cycle. Complete discharge of the battery should always be avoided, because this considerably shortens the life of the battery and also not enough energy is available to start the engine. However: In many fleets it can now be seen that truck batteries have to deal with more frequent and deeper discharges than was previously the case. Why is the number of charging cycles increasing and how does this affect the life of the battery?

Fleet managers are under pressure

There is a definite link between charging cycles and the cycles of loads and goods. For modern industrial countries long distance road transport is an important basis for wealth and growth. The economy is only kept moving by continuous deliveries to companies and traders. Requirements by businesses and consumers have increased. Orders which are placed today need to be delivered tomorrow. From the point of view of fleet managers the challenges are also increasing. For many years the transport of goods by road has been subject to a high pressure on costs. Sustainable profits can only be achieved with efficient route planning and short intervals. Under these conditions, the driver's cab in the truck is used more often as a hotel for the driver. At the same time, the long-term trend toward "rolling warehouses" allows little room for optimum vehicle maintenance. 

Trucks with hoteling function provide comfort

If the trucks are equipped with modern comfort functions driver satisfaction and loyalty increases. Companies are also well aware of this, so that modern trucks are like small mobile hotels. TV, coffee machines and parking cooler make long stays in the cab more pleasant. However, the large number of electrical consumers also drains the battery. Almost continuous use of the battery results in increased wear. Similar to car tyres, which wear more quickly on a taxi which is in use day and night than on a private car, a truck battery is also subjected to greater stresses. This sometimes gives the impression that modern batteries are of poorer quality than they used to be. The actual reason for greater wear and shorter life is the more intensive use of the truck battery.

VARTA® – The truck battery professionals 

At VARTA we have recognised the challenges and together with leading commercial vehicle manufacturers we have developed a new generation of AGM and EFB batteries. With these innovative technologies we ensure that in spite of the increased demands, maintenance of truck batteries remains as little as possible. This way your fleet can also be reliably provided with electrical power in the future.