So, you’ve decided to make the switch to an electric car. You’re ready to enjoy silent, swift driving, and to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. You’re excited about the new technology in your car and about all the money you’ll save on gas. But you might still be a little worried about range.
Maybe your new electric car doesn’t the same range as the gasoline car you have been driving. Maybe public charging infrastructure where you live isn’t the greatest. Don’t worry, “range anxiety” is something most electric car drivers feel. But we have some handy tips for improving the range of your electric vehicle and relieving some of that anxiety.
Before You Set Off
You can use many of the same tricks you’d use to maximize the efficiency of your gasoline vehicle to increase the range of your electric car.
For instance, go through your EV’s interior and trunk and leave behind the stuff you don’t need – the extra weight is literally dragging you down.
Remove roof rails, bike racks and other exterior accessories unless they are being used. These accessories have a significant and negative impact on aerodynamics, and thus your electric car’s overall efficiency.
Finally, check that your tires are in good condition and at the correct pressure. As the only point of contact between your electric car and the road, an improperly inflated tire can have an outsized effect on how hard your EV must work to go down the road.
You can also help maximize your electric car’s range while plugged in before a trip. Most EVs let you set departure times and a desired temperature with a mobile app or through the infotainment system. You can pre-set the cabin temperature, seat and steering wheel heaters, and other energy-sapping devices, to activate before you depart. This means that when you unplug and drive away, the cabin is already at a comfortable temperature, and you don’t have to use precious energy to heat or cool it.
Adjust Your Driving Style
Now that your car is at its most efficient, it’s time to look at your own driving habits. Just like driving more smoothly and carefully in a gasoline car can help improve your miles per gallon, the same tweaks can help you get more miles out of every charge in an electric car.
First, slow down! You’d be surprised at the difference a few miles an hour makes. Slowing down your highway cruising speed by 5 mph will have a significant impact on your energy consumption. You’ll increase your range and may discover that you’re more relaxed as well.
All cars are at their most efficient when cruising at a steady speed. Unnecessary braking, steering, and accelerating wastes precious energy and reduces the comfort of your passengers. Anticipating situations that will arise while driving means you’ll spend less time and energy reacting.
Simply look further up the road than you normally would – you’ll find you can sense what is about to happen several hundred feet away and can adjust your speed accordingly. Use smaller throttle openings to build up speed over a longer period– and if you can anticipate the need to slow down, you can lift off the throttle earlier to coast or help charge the battery with regenerative braking.
Use Your EV’s Tech
Most modern cars come with a wide range of assistance technology to help you drive more safely, as well as more efficiently. Active cruise control can maintain a set distance from the car in front of you, keeping a safe following distance, and slowing down to maintain space automatically. Set your desired speed and your car will handle speeding up and slowing down smoothly while keeping you safe and relaxed.
Use your navigation system on a road trip, even if you know where you’re going. By entering your planned destination, you enable your EV to find the most efficient route by taking into account terrain, traffic, cruising speeds, and charging times. Your electric car will receive real-time information from road users, traffic systems, and charging networks enabling them to determine as you drive what the best route is. They can help choose charging points and make sure the vehicle’s battery is in the optimum state to receive the fastest charge by pre-conditioning.
With a little bit of preparation before a trip and smooth, steady driving during it you can maximize the range of your new electric car. Using its built-in technology will also make road trips easier, helping you not only maximize range, but charge as quickly and efficiently as possible.