9 tips to get the most from your EV

When it comes to driving an electric vehicle, autonomy is essential. If you’re traveling long distances, an EV with limited range means you have to stop and charge more often. Given how long it can take to charge an electric car, especially older models, this is obviously something you will want to avoid.

While there is no quick fix to adding an extra hundred miles to your battery, there are ways to maximize your car’s range. A few extra miles here and there could be the difference between getting to your destination all at once or having to stop and figure it out where to charge your electric car.

Because suitable public chargers are not always easy to find, and too many of them use poorly done applications To work.

The key is to drive more efficiently, just like when trying to get the most out of a tank of gas. While some of these tips are generally common sense, the others might not be familiar to you. It should also be mentioned that maximize the range of electric vehicles in cold weather has its own set of challenges, which are worth reading.

But no matter the weather, here are some essential tips to maximize the range of your EV.

How to maximize the range of your EV

1. Don’t drive too fast: Obviously, going over the speed limit is a bad idea at the best of times, but EV drivers traveling long distances will want to keep their speedometer at around 60 miles per hour. The faster you go, the more power you need to draw from the battery to maintain that speed.

60 mph is the point where most EVs are able to balance the need to conserve energy while maintaining your speed. Go higher and you will probably start to see your distance meter drop a little faster than you would like.

2. Use eco mode: Many EVs have a dedicated eco mode that limits power to the car’s most power-hungry features, such as the heater and throttle. You won’t break any 0-60 records for your car by doing this, but power that isn’t being fed elsewhere can instead keep you going farther for longer. Likewise, be sure to keep Sport mode, if you have it, turned off.

3. Drive smoothly: Just like driving a gasoline car, your mileage will vary depending on how you drive. One of the best ways to maximize your range is to keep your driving fun and smooth. Avoid pressing the accelerator pedal to quickly reach the speed limit, as the faster you try to go, the more power you will use in the process.

Likewise, pressing the brakes at the very last second means you’ve just wasted the energy you were using to maintain that speed. If you can, start slowing down earlier with gentle braking or ideally coasting to let the physics slow you down gradually.

4. Use regenerative braking: The added benefit of smoother deceleration is that it gives your car a better chance to recover some of the lost energy through regenerative braking. The amount of power you recover will depend on how hard you have adjusted your car’s regenerative brakes. The stronger they are, the more power you will recover and the faster you will slow down before you hit the brakes.

5. Choose more efficient routes: Efficient driving doesn’t just depend on how you drive, but also on the routes you take. Long stretches of uninterrupted road are better for your fuel efficiency than a route that involves many stops or slowdowns to make turns. After all, maintaining your speed uses less energy than slowing down and accelerating back to the same speed.

Fortunately, technology can help, especially if you use Google Maps. Among some of the best google maps tips is a feature that automatically sends drivers to the most efficient routes. Although the setting can be disabled, the app will do this by default. Be sure to check Google Maps before going on long trips and see what it says.

tesla model 3 on the highway

(Image credit: Future Studios / Drive)

6. Keep the air conditioning under control: Air conditioning can drain your battery if you’re not careful. But be sure to use these features sparingly if you can, and use less power-hungry methods to stay comfortable. For example, heated seats are more efficient than the main heating system.

If you need to keep cool, opening the window for a little breeze is a less energy-efficient way to do it. Sure, that increases your drag, which means you need more power to keep moving, but it’s less power hungry than air conditioning alone. Obviously, how much you need will depend on where you live.

The most important thing is to make sure you are comfortable and protected from the elements. However, it’s still worth considering if you have a long journey ahead (and temperatures permit).

7. Keep your tires inflated: Always make sure you know what pressure your tires need to be adjusted to, as doing so wrong can seriously hamper the distance your car travels.

Under-inflated tires increase drag, which increases your car’s energy consumption. It can also lead to increased and uneven tread wear over time, which will cost you dearly in the long run. So check this pressure and make sure it is at the right level, especially in cold weather.

8. Throw away excess weight: The heavier your car, the more power it takes to keep it moving. So if there is excess weight in your EV, be sure to remove it before going on long trips. Every ounce of weight increases your energy consumption very slightly, and it all adds up.

You should also make sure to remove any unnecessary accessories that will increase the drag. Because, again, more drag means more power consumed. Any bike or roof racks, surfboards, crash guards, decorative spoilers, or whatever else you might have on the outside of your car that doesn’t have to be there should be gone.

9. Take care of your battery: The most important thing in maximizing the range of an electric vehicle is to take care of what powers the car. Lithium-ion batteries can be unstable and degradation is a problem to be concerned about, but if you take care of your battery it won’t be much of a problem.

To keep it simple, avoid using fast charging in favor of slower charging methods whenever possible and always try to keep your power levels between 20-80%. Not only will this help conserve battery life and keep your range estimates high, but a healthy battery will ensure your car retains its value should you ever decide to sell.

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