1 Mar 2023

9 tips to get the most from your electric vehicle

Even though many of the latest electric vehicles (EVs) can run for more than 200kms on a single charge, range anxiety remains top of mind for some EV drivers.

Knowing how low you can let charge levels go can be stressful and nobody wants to end up stranded at the side of the road with a flat battery. However, it’s easy to get extra kilometres from a charge and even extend the EV’s advertised range. Here’s 8 simple ways to do it:

1. Drive Consistently 

In simple terms, heavy-footed driving will deplete your EV’s battery at a faster rate. Although it’s tempting to test out the EV’s quick launch, your charge will go further when you take it easy whilst accelerating from a standing start.

2. Keep to the speed limit

EV drivers heading of on long distance drives will want to keep their speed consistent. The faster you go, the more power you pull from the battery to maintain that speed.

100km per hour is the pace where most EVs can maintain the balance of conserving power while keeping speed. Going faster than this, you'll likely see your range level decrease faster than desired. If your EV has an “Eco” mode, switch this on to increase the amount of energy that is 'regenerated' as the car slows or brakes.

3. Utilise regenerative braking 

When driving, you can use your EV’s energy-recovering regenerative braking option as you come to a stop. Regenerative braking is a way of taking energy from the process of slowing down a car and using it to recharge the car’s battery. Utilise your car’s maximum regenerative setting to generate extra power back to the vehicle’s battery when you take your foot off the accelerator.

4. Limit the use of heating 

The use of an EV’s heater at full fan speed can put a huge drain on battery power. In the winter, turn down the temperature levels and instead turn on your heated seats and heated steering wheel to keep you warm and use less energy. You can also pre-heat your car while it’s plugged in through your app so it’s at the right temperature before you hit the road.

5. Go light on the aircon

Using air conditioning can consume a lot of battery power at a fast rate. Try just turning on the fan, and not the AC where possible; driving with the windows open is an alternative. Although this can affect aerodynamics at higher speeds and, in turn, reducing range. You can also pre-cool the car in summer through your car app while the car is charging to help reduce the need to run the AC once you drive away.

6. Look after your tyres

Many vehicles on the road have inadequately inflated tyres. Driving an EV with under-inflated tyres will not only increase its power consumption, but can lead to unwanted tread wear. Ensure you check tyre air pressure often using a tyre gauge. Have the tyres properly inflated according to the PSI recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You can usually find this information noted on a sticker attached to the driver’s side door frame.

7. Less junk in your truck

Reducing a vehicle’s weight is one of the easiest ways to boost its efficiency. To that end, have less junk in the trunk! Even carrying an extra 50kgs of goods in your boot can increase a vehicle’s energy consumption by 2% percent.

8. Plan your trip

It could take you less time getting to your destination by driving on the motorway, but you could maximize your EVs range by keeping to a route that allows you to drive steadily at consistent speeds. Try keeping away from areas known for heavy traffic. Some EVs have navigation systems that can plot the best energy efficient routes. If your EV has this function give it a try.

9. Charging matters

Some EV batteries will slowly drain power after they have finished charging. Try timing the charge so the battery is fully charged just before you need to drive. This is also beneficial for the battery’s long-term health. See more charging tips here.