Electric vehicles may just be hitting their stride, but maximizing electric vehicle range is practically the same as maximizing conventional vehicle fuel economy.
What can you do to keep your electric vehicle running at its most efficient? Simple, here are a few practical tips that you can apply, and don’t be afraid to apply this to conventional vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as well…
- Watch Your Speed: There is no reason you need to go 85 mph to get to work on time. Regarding fuel economy or, in this case, electric vehicle range, road vehicles are simply not designed to go that fast efficiently. For the most part, modern automobiles, including electric vehicles, are designed to go about 55 mph. The faster you go, the more you have to fight against air resistance, and the more power you need to do that. In a conventional vehicle, you burn more fuel, but in an electric vehicle, you use more Wh (watt-hours). In both cases, you can reduce your range by a significant amount.
- Watch Your Cargo: For most of you, you don’t need to be carrying a lot of stuff for your daily activities. Sure, if you happen to take your electric vehicle on a weekend camping trip, you’ll need to carry your gear. Once you get home, however, you should take that stuff and put it back in the attic. Carrying all that stuff around for no reason is a sure way to reduce your electric vehicle range.
- Watch Your Charge: Electric vehicle charging should be fairly straightforward: just plug it in when you’re not using it. The vehicle’s onboard charging system is designed not to let you destroy the battery by deep-cycling it, but it’s still a good idea not to run it down to the last few Wh before you charge it again. Given that there will be some parasitic drain, keep the car plugged in, especially in cold weather.
- Watch Your Climate: Climate control in an electric vehicle has more of an impact on range than anything. Warm up or cool off the vehicle, via smartphone app if possible, while the car is still on the charger. Try to minimize your use of heating and air conditioning if at all possible, and save those electrons for the road.