Majority of electric vehicles can run for at least 200 kilometres on one full charge. Yet, many people still feel range anxiety when driving for long distances with their EVs.
Even though the average Canadian drives 60 kilometres or less per day, which is well within the range of current EVs on the market, not knowing when you can get another full charge sparks the fear of getting stranded somewhere with no charging station in sight.
We’ve put together some tips to help you optimize your EV’s range to get the most mileage out of each charge and override your range anxiety.
How to Optimize Your EV Battery
1. Drive at a steady pace
If you’re constantly accelerating and slowing down while driving, you will drain your EV battery faster. Instead, try driving at a steady, slightly slower pace (optimally around under 60 mph), which boosts your range. If you feel the need to speed up, do so gradually till you reach your ideal speed and maintain it by putting your vehicle into cruise control.
2. Take advantage of your regenerative braking
Minimize your energy consumption by leveraging your EV’s regenerative braking. This system captures kinetic energy during deceleration and uses it to top up the car’s battery, which can be repurposed to power your motor.
3. Use your heat and AC sparingly
Running your EV’s heating and air conditioning system drains your battery. If you need a lot of heat during winter, try dialling down the climate control and relying on your heated seats and steering wheel instead to use less energy. In the summer, try running only the fan and not the compressor or driving with the windows down. You can also preheat or pre-cool your vehicle while it’s plugged in at home to reduce your static energy use.
4. Pack and accessorize your EV lightly
Whether it’s a conventional or an electric vehicle, traveling lightly will always help conserve more energy. Avoid keeping unnecessary heavy items or cargo in your car. Minimize adding exterior equipment or accessories to your vehicle. This increases your energy efficiency and maximizes your range.
5. Plan your routes ahead of time
To get more out of your vehicle’s battery, avoid high-traffic areas, steep hills and high-speed roads. If your EV has a navigation system that can suggest steady, more direct routes, take advantage of it!
6. Check and pump your tires often
For your vehicle to run efficiently and safely, proper tire inflation is essential. Under-inflated tires consume more energy because they cause more rolling resistance and can even wear down faster. Check your tire pressure frequently and keep in mind that it can change depending on the air temperature outside.
7. Be strategic with your charges
Make sure you don’t keep your battery plugged in past full charge as it will slowly self-discharge when it’s finished. To extend your battery life, only charge it till about 80%. If you know you have a long ride ahead of you, time your charge by mapping out the distance you’ll be driving and what time you need to leave so you can head out with a fully-charged battery.
Don’t let range anxiety hold you back. With these 7 tips, you can optimize your energy consumption, both when you’re driving and when you’re not, and cruise confidently every time you hit the road.
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