14 Feb 19

10 tips to get the furthest with your EV

Since recent research of the AAA found out that the range of EVs drops significantly in frigid temperatures, we listed 10 tips to extend the range of your EV. Don't let a temperature drop make your EV experience a flop!

1.    Keep the battery warm 

Try to park your EV inside. If no garage is available, go for an enclosed space, or if it has to be outside, park it in the sun so it can be preheated 'naturally'. Since the EV’s battery is programmed to remain at a precise temperature, it will use electricity to warm itself up when it drops below. Keeping the battery warm is crucial to save energy and hence range.

2.    Precondition the battery and the cabin

Most EVs have the option of setting a time to depart and warming up the battery and the cabin while it is still plugged in. Use the option to make sure the battery is at the right temperature before taking off and no battery power is lost to heating the cabin. 

3.    Use the heat strategically

Since the cabin heating of an EV consumes a lot of battery, you better use the heat strategically. Whilst driving, you had better turn the heating lower than entirely off, since turning it on again out of zero will cost more energy than keeping it at a constant – low – flow during the entire trip.

4.    Choose seat heating or steering wheel heating

Turn the general heating system lower and switch to heated seats or steering wheel heating. This is more efficient to keep yourself warm. If you live in a cold area, this should be your must-buy option to saveguard range.

5.    Check tyre pressure

Dropping temperatures cause a drop in tyre pressure, which leads to more resistance and therefore less driving range. Make sure to check and adjust your tyres before hitting the road.

6.    Plan ahead

Plan ahead so you can identify the location of charging stations on the road and plan for more frequent stops for charging, since charging not only fills the EV with energy, but heats up the battery a little bit as well. Moreover, you can use the ‘plugged-in’ moments to precondition the cabin.

7.    Drive steadily

Driving in cold air requires more from the car, since the density of cold air creates more drag for the car. Drive at 10 to 15 km/h below the speed limit - aerodynamic drag increases exponentially with speed. Avoid heavy accelerating and braking and drive at a steady pace. .

8.   Brake regeneratively

Anticipate on braking and do it gradually, so the car can recover energy from the vehicle’s movement and store it as electricity. The regenerative energy system can also be used when driving downhill. Many EVs allow you to set the level of regenerative braking. Set it to maximum in the city and to minimum on highways.

9.   Try to freewheel

Recovering energy while coasting is good, but it slows the vehicle down. If you don't need the vehicle to decelerate, it is better to put the transmission into neutral (N) and benefit from the car's inertia to get you as far as possible without using energy.

10.    Improve the streamline

Remove any kind of snow of ice on the surface of your EV. It is not only extra weight to carry, but it deteriorates the aerodynamic properties of your car – similar to planes – costing you some range as well. In addition to this, you could remove any unnecessary add-ons, such as roof racks if not needed.

Authored by: Fien Van den steen