Electric cars have been taking over the motor industry for the last few years and it seems this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable. Last September, we saw the millionth electric vehicle take to the road in the UK, a huge increase compared to five years ago when the number was less than 100,000.
There are many reasons for the popularity of electric cars: they’re cheaper to run, emit no carbon emissions, and are starting to travel further on a single charge. One of the main questions currently asked by electric car owners is. “How can I increase the driving range of my EV?”, therefore, we’ve provided our top tips to help you maximise your range and make the most out of your car.
What is the average range for an electric vehicle?
The average range of an EV is usually around 100-250 miles but newer models have been reaching distances of up to 400 miles on just a single charge. Some car models also have several versions that come with different batteries. As an example, the MG4 EV is available in three versions (Standard Range, Long Range, and Long Range Trophy), with the Long Range models beating the Standard in range by an average of 60 miles.
What factors can affect the range of an electric vehicle?
Since EVs are powered by electric batteries, there are several factors that can reduce the overall range of the car, such as:
- Weather – colder temperatures can lead to the battery working harder
- Speed – the car will need to work harder at faster speeds
- Terrain – Uphill driving requires more energy compared to level ground, putting strain on the battery.
What can you do to increase the range of your electric vehicle?
Make use of regenerative braking
In electric vehicles, braking leads to the electric motor in the regenerative braking system acting as a generator. It recaptures and reuses the energy that would typically be lost through heat and stores it within the battery. Essentially, you get a range boost.
The amount that is generated will depend on the model of the vehicle but most will usually gain a few miles extra through this system. To make the most of the regenerative braking system, you should aim to drive smoothly and avoid braking suddenly where possible.
Keep tyres properly inflated
While it may only seem small, keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure can improve the range of your vehicle in the long run. Tyres that aren’t inflated to the required pressure can create more resistance, so the battery has to work harder in order to maintain the same power.
Maintain a suitable speed
It’s said that electric cars perform best when driven at 50-60mph, therefore it’s best to stick within this speed bracket so long as it’s safe to do so. Whilst this isn’t always possible on roads like the motorway, you can save 14% more energy by driving 10mph slower.
Turn off unnecessary features
The battery of your EV isn’t just responsible for the engine but all other features in the vehicle, from the lights to the air conditioning. You’d be surprised by how much battery power some features use up, which is why you should try and turn features off when they are not in use.
While things like the radio and windscreen wipers won’t affect battery performance much, heating and air conditioning use up the most power. Turning the heating or air-conditioning down or off completely can improve your EV’s range.