Most newer EVs will easily give you over 200 miles of range from a single charge, which is pretty huge! But that doesn’t stop many EV drivers from having an occasional touch of range anxiety when they’re driving a little further than normal.
People tend to think of EV range as something that they don’t have much control over, but you’d be surprised to see what a difference good driving habits can make!
So, what can you do to squeeze the most mileage out of your EV? Here are a few simple tips and pointers.
Keep your tires properly inflated
Underinflated tires can reduce your EV’s range by increasing the resistance of the tire on the road. Experts call this the tire’s “rolling resistance.” By keeping your tires at their correct pressure, you’re also making your EV safer to drive and helping the tires to last longer – by as much as 50%.
You can normally find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb, and in your owner’s manual.
Tires will naturally lose pressure over time and after just one month they may have lost as much as 2 pounds of pressure. A monthly check is really great practice, especially during winter months when your tires are more likely to deflate with the temperature drop. When you’re checking the pressure, that’s also a great time to check the general condition of the tires, looking out for uneven wear, cuts or cracks.
Choose low rolling resistance tires
When it’s time to change your tires, or when you’re purchasing a new EV, try to get the tires with the lowest rolling resistance for the best range. Class A tires have the lowest rolling resistance and will give you the longest range. Not only that, but research shows they’ll give you the best handling.
Lay off the accelerator
With EVs, the faster you drive, the more energy you use, so the best range will come from maintaining a good speed and reducing the amount of time you spend driving at high speeds. Not only does this make the car more energy efficient, but it also stops you from needing to brake as much, which, even with the regenerative braking system, will waste some energy.
And while it’s fun to enjoy the incredible acceleration your EV can provide, you’ll find that you’ll get a better range by being a little smoother out the gates.
Don’t slam on the brakes
EVs have a great feature for increasing energy efficiency and therefore range, and that’s regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking converts much of the kinetic energy lost when you decelerate back into stored energy in your EV’s battery. The next time the car accelerates, it uses the energy stored from this rather than tapping into its own energy reserves.
It can take some getting used to, but try to use this type of braking to bring you to a stop whenever possible and always avoid harsh braking.
Make your car comfy before you get in
Pre-heating or cooling your car while it’s charging means you won’t need to blast out the AC or heating as much while you’re driving. Running the heater or AC on full blast would otherwise put a big drain on your battery and reduce your range.
Using features like heated seating and a heated steering wheel will also drain your battery, so make sure to turn them off once your EV is comfortable.
Dump the junk in your trunk
Any extra load that you’re carrying will force your EV to work harder, reducing its range. So, open up your trunk and have a good review of the things you’re taking with you on a daily basis. If you’ve still got your golf clubs in from your weekend round, you should probably take them out! An extra 100 pounds of weight in the car will increase your energy consumption by a couple of percent.
At the end of the day, your EV’s range will be more than enough for all your regular driving needs, but building these habits in will help you get the most miles every time you hit the road.