How can I increase the range of an electric vehicle?
Eliminating Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety
Just like in petrol or diesel-fuelled cars, the range of electric vehicles can be affected by a few factors. Here are some main things to consider:
- High speeds and heavy acceleration use more power and reduce range, so customers will get more miles out of their potential range by travelling at a steady speed and accelerating gradually.
- Extreme hot or cold weather conditions affect batteries and can reduce range. Heating or cooling the inside of the vehicle will also draw extra energy from your battery. We’d recommend adjusting the inside temperature of the vehicle while it is still plugged into the charger.
- Regenerative braking can capture and reuse more than 90% of the energy normally lost during the braking process, recharging the high-voltage battery and maximising your range. Try to predict traffic situations ahead to optimize braking for maximum energy recuperation.
- Accessory loads could result in more power being used (including cabin heaters, heated seats, AC compressor)
Batteries have an optimal operating temperature, and they heat and cool themselves to achieve it. They have to power everything that you switch on, so everything you do to reduce the power needed will improve your range. There are many ways you can help to maximise the range of your electric car during cold weather:
- Pre-heat your car while it’s charging, before you leave.
- Remove any snow so it’s not heavier than necessary.
- Use the heated seats and steering wheel rather than heat up the entire cabin.
- Drive economically – a steady speed that isn’t high, with gentle acceleration and braking etc.
- Maximise the power recovered through regenerative braking by braking gradually when possible.
- Connect your electric car to an external power source whenever it’s parked, to keep the system warm from an external source and to re-charge.
- Use heated front and rear screens to clear and keep windows clear (this takes less energy than heating them from the air inside the cabin).
- Use climate recirculation mode and non-defrost mode, if safe to do so - in this way you are heating the already warmed air in the cabin rather than the cold outside air.
- Check the tyre pressure to adjust for the cold temps.