How to maximise your electric cars range

Tuesday 12th July 2022

Long road by sea

In April this year, the energy price cap rose by over 40%. A further significant rise is expected in October and, with inflation expected to hit 10% before settling down to around 2% by 2024, household budgets are being stretched to the limit.

Whilst those of us who have already made the switch to an electric vehicle have been able to avoid the spiralling cost of petrol and diesel, every EV driver wants to get the maximum number of miles out of every charge.

1. Get the temperature right before you set off

No one likes to be too hot or too cold, but in-car heating, air conditioning, and temperature control systems all consume battery power that could be used to extend the range.

During the summer, instead of dialling down the temperature, why not open a window for a few minutes? It will increase the level of drag on the vehicle and therefore make it slightly less aerodynamic, but it’s still more efficient than operating the AC unit at full chill factor.

Whether you want to heat up or cool down, using the car’s climate controls to adjust the temperature whilst you are still plugged will minimise any unnecessary battery drain during your journey.

2. Check your tyres regularly

It’s been estimated that over half of the tyres used by UK drivers are at least 4psi below the recommended pressure levels.

Not only will this reduce the life of the tyre by around 10% but because more power is needed to propel the vehicle forward it creates an additional drain on your EV’s battery. And, if your tyre pressure gets to around 6psi below the recommended levels this could reduce efficiency by around 3%.

3. Take it easy and avoid excessive speeds

Driving at a steady pace can significantly impact your real-world driving range. It also pays to take it a little slower because, unlike traditionally fuelled cars, which are most fuel efficient at around 50mph, electric cars use more power the faster they go. You might even want to switch the ‘Eco’ mode (if you have one) as this will make the car accelerate more gently, preserving battery power for a few extra miles on the road.

4. Make the most of regenerative breaking

Taking your foot off the accelerator doesn’t just slow you down, it enables the kinetic energy generated to be converted into electrical power for recharging the battery. Whilst this process happens automatically, many electric cars have a range of settings which can be adjusted to enable the maximum amount of power to be harnessed and reused.

However, settings designed to harvest more power can also result in a higher level of deceleration which you may, or may not, be comfortable with, so it’s a good idea to test out the different options and find one that works for you.

5. Avoid carrying unnecessary weight

What have you got in your boot at the moment? A set of golf clubs that only get used once a week, tools that you keep meaning to put back in the garage, or maybe some old junk that never quite makes it to the recycling centre. All that extra weight will put an additional strain on your battery and so, if you don’t need it, don’t carry it.

6. Plan the most efficient route

High speed motorway driving uses significantly more energy than a more leisurely route at a slower speed.

The same is true of stop-start driving in heavily congested areas and it obviously takes more energy to go up a steep hill than a gradual incline. Whilst it’s not always possible, or practical, to avoid these scenarios, it’s worth checking if your satellite navigation system can plan the most economical route to take. And don’t forget, regular stops don’t just refresh the driver, they provide the perfect opportunity to top up the battery as well.

Electric cars will always be more efficient than their petrol or diesel counterparts but, with a little extra thought and planning, you can make even bigger savings. If you’re looking to make the switch or if it’s time to upgrade and take advantage of the new long distance EVs now available.

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Novuna Vehicle Solutions is a trading style of Mitsubishi HC Capital UK Plc. Other brand names under which we trade include Novuna Consumer Finance, Novuna Personal Finance, Novuna Business Finance and Novuna Business Cash Flow.

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