If you’re concerned about the welfare of the environment, or you’d simply like to save money on road tax and fuel, then you might have considered making the switch to an electric vehicle. Nowadays, there’s an unprecedented range of EV options available – from compact city cars to sprawling SUVs.
Among the concerns of new EV adopters is the distance that can be driven on a single charge. No-one, after all, wants to be stranded miles from the nearest charging station.
Let’s take a look at a few of the factors which effect efficiency in electric vehicles. Not coincidentally, many of them are the same factors which limit efficiency in traditional ICE-based vehicles. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Limit the climate control
The heating and cooling systems in your car will take their energy directly from the battery. If possible, try to go easy on them. You’ll be able to travel much further as a result. You might find that you can dial things down a notch or two without any appreciable difference in comfort.
Look after Tyres
Tyres play a critical role in preserving energy efficiency. They should be inflated to the required standard, and the tread should be checked. Winter tyres will allow for maximum grip in snowy conditions. Summer ones put more rubber on the road when rain is less likely. Buy tyres online; you’ll save money and be able to afford more regular replacements.
Limit the weight
You can’t change the laws of physics. If you’re carrying more weight, then you’ll need to spend more energy to get it moving. Thus if you’ve left a set of golf clubs, a set of free weights, and a digital piano in the rear of the car, your mileage will suffer.
Your driving behaviour will also hugely influence the amount of energy you’re spending. While it might be tempting to put your foot down (especially with the immediate power you get from the right EV), doing so will drain your battery that much more quickly. It’s better to keep your speed down. If your EV comes with a ‘sport’ mode, then it’s better to deactivate it.
Use Regenerative Braking
Your vehicle’s regenerative braking function will channel energy back into the battery as you come to a stop. This can hugely extend the lifespan of a given charge. When you apply the brakes, you’re dissipating energy away from the car. Regenerative braking helps you to reclaim some of what would otherwise be lost.
Time your charge
A problem inherent in overnight charging is that lithium-ion batteries will tend to slowly discharge when they aren’t being charged up. This in turn limits the lifespan of the battery. All those little charge-discharge cycles will eventually amount to a decline in capacity. A better idea is to know exactly when you’re going to hit the road, and time the charge so that you’re at maximum capacity a few moments beforehand.