A Common Sense Approach Always Pays, And EV Driving Is No Exception!
Though, the tips below, are relevant to both plug-in hybrids and pure battery electric vehicles (BEV), those driving a BEV will benefit the most. Range anxiety has been a predominant theme in the EV market, however, automotive manufacturers have been demonstrating a strong commitment to increasing electric car battery range. The 2019 lineup of EVs, including, the likes of Tesla Model 3 (348 miles) and Renault Zoe (186 miles) are cases in point.
As an example, the first Nissan Leaf (2011) had a range of 74 miles (24 kWh battery). In comparison, the latest Nissan Leaf e+ has a range of 239 miles. This is an increase in range of over 220%. e-zoomed believes that automotive manufacturers will continue to demonstrate significant improvements in range, as newer 100% pure electric models are introduced. The electric car has evolved from being just a vehicle for short urban commutes, to capable of longer journeys, just like a petrol or diesel car. Despite all the positive progress with range, we recommend that EV drivers should instil a ‘common sense’ approach to driving, such that the maximum can be gained from a fully charged battery. This is certainly no different from a petrol or diesel car. For decades, ICE drivers have been told the same. By following a common sense approach, not only is the driver benefiting from maximising the range from an electric car, but also benefiting in other important ways. These include reduced wear and tear, better maintenance, lower insurance premiums and finally, a more enjoyable drive.
Five Helpful Tips To Achieve A Better And Longer Drive
1). Check tyre pressure
Yes, you know! All those years of driving petrol cars have taught us one thing. To increase fuel efficiency, make certain that the tyres are inflated to recommended levels. Lower pressure tyres decrease fuel efficiency. Not surprisingly, the same principle applies to EVs. So, always make a habit of checking the tyre pressure on a regular basis. Keyword is ‘regular’!
Many are surprised that EVs accelerate fast, and in fact, in most cases would accelerate fast than a petrol or diesel car. For example, the Jaguar I-PACE all-electric SUV, is capable of an awe-inspiring acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. To put this in context, the F-PACE Prestige 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder internal-combustion engine accelerates 0-60 mph in 9.6 seconds. The all-electric I-PACE is twice as quick on acceleration! The reason for the impressive EV performance, is because electric vehicles deliver more torque and more power directly to the wheels, compared to petrol or diesel cars.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It is great to have the power to accelerate when required. But that does not mean that every minute of driving needs to be a Formula-E race. It is always best to drive when possible, with slower acceleration. Higher acceleration, always reduces range efficiency and consumes more battery power. An EV driver can increase range performance by adoption an acceleration profile that is optimum.
We are all guilty of this. Accelerating a car with all the gusto, only to brake hard, shortly afterwards at a traffic light. It does not matter what you are driving, it is simply bad driving. The more we brake, the more the energy wasted, fuel or electric. Therefore, drive in a manner that requires lower frequency of braking. Best ways to achieve this is by driving at slower speeds and assessing better, when to accelerate.
4). Do not make your boot your offsite storage dump
Yes, we seem to be very adept at leaving items for long durations in the car. It is tempting to take advantage of the larger boot space of most EVs, only to forget to take the items out. The principle is simple. The heavier the electric car, the more the energy consumed to move it forward. One of the reasons, EVs have achieved higher acceleration, is because these vehicles are lighter than ICE vehicles. Don’t forget EVs don’t have the handicap of a traditional petrol engine, with all those thousands of components that make the car heavier. Make it a regular habit to clear the boot of items not required!
5). Take advantage of the ‘eco mode’
Most electric cars come with an eco mode, that helps increase efficiency. This is perfect for drives that do not require heating or air-conditioning blasting in full force. By using the eco mode, you will achieve higher distances on a single charge.
None of the above recommendations suggest a compromise or dilution of your enjoyment of driving an electric car. In fact, the above helpful tips, reduce range anxiety and time spent on recharging. We have not covered all possible tips and would love to hear your views on how to further maximise range.