How can you increase your electric vehicle range?
Improving your electric vehicle range doesn’t mean regularly stopping off on route for a recharge. It’s actually incredibly easy to get more miles out of your electric vehicle just by learning how to use your EV most efficiently. If you want to maximise your EV mileage, Mark McKenna of Fleet Insurance Brokers Bluedrop Services, advises you to follow these 6 top tips and you’ll have no trouble increasing your electric vehicle range on every journey.
6 tips to increase your electric vehicle range
1. Go easy on the accelerator
Just as with a diesel powered vehicle, sharp acceleration can burn through fuel and make it necessary to top up more often. The same is true with trying to preserve charge in electric vehicles. Rapid acceleration will cause your battery to deplete more quickly to the detriment of your electric vehicle range, so be gentle on the accelerator as you pull away.
2. Change your braking behaviour
Along with avoiding sharp acceleration, you should also get into the habit of easing off the accelerator when you want to come to a stop. That’s because electric vehicles are equipped with an automatic recharge feature that engages whenever you slowly de-accelerate, helping to naturally top up the vehicle’s battery between charges.
Try to get into the habit of braking this way, rather than slamming on the brakes to come to a standstill. Again, electric vehicles aren’t too different from diesel powered when it comes to harsh braking, and the more you pump those brakes, the faster your charge will run down.
3. Precondition the vehicle while it’s charging
Another top tip for improving electric vehicle range is to precondition your vehicle before you set off on your journey. Using the AC or fan heater puts a strain on your EV’s battery, which can already deplete faster in cold weather.
If you are driving in hot or cold conditions, run the AC or the heater whilst the car is still connected to mains power via its charging port. That way, you’ll cool down or warm up the cab to a comfortable climate, without eating into the charge you need to travel.
4. Avoid sustained high speed journeys
You may think that travelling at a faster speed would allow you to cover more ground in an electric vehicle, but actually the opposite is true. Sustaining a high speed over a long period can actually negatively impact your EV’s battery, causing you to recharge more frequently.
To get the most efficiency from your electric vehicle, you should try to keep your speed below 60mph and avoid routes that are hilly, feature too many inclines, or are traffic heavy.
5. Don’t overload your vehicle
The lighter your electric vehicle is the less energy it will consume, so to increase your electric vehicle range you should avoid cluttering up the boot and cab with unnecessary cargo you don’t need for your journey.
Similarly, adding a roof rack to your vehicle can result in drag at higher speeds, which also consumes excess energy.
6. Perform regular maintenance checks
A final tip for improving your vehicle’s electric vehicle range is to conduct regular maintenance checks, for example, ensuring that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and fluid levels are as they should be.
These things may seem incidental, but research into EV performance has shown under inflated tyres can impact a battery’s life by up to several miles per charge, so just conducting these quick simple checks every once in while is a good habit to get into.
Things to consider when you have an EV fleet
With diesel powered vehicles slowly being phased out, and our government’s target of becoming net zero from 2050, moving to an electric vehicle fleet is an inevitable reality. If you’re already operating an electric vehicle fleet and looking for ways to optimise your performance, here are some additional tips to consider:
- Installing on site charging units to enable your drivers to charge their vehicles between uses and during periods of downtime.
- Introducing incentive schemes that reward best practice driving behaviours.
- Regular servicing of your fleet to ensure every vehicle is in optimum condition.
- Moving to a 5G network to enable real time data transfer and improved route planning.
Range anxiety (the fear that your electric vehicle will run out of charge part way through its journey) has been cited as one of the biggest fears among EV drivers and a key inhibitor of electric vehicle take-up.
But, as our 6 simple tips show, with just a little knowledge about how your electric vehicle works and a few adjustments to your driving behaviour you can easily maximise your electric vehicle range and ensure you make it to your destination with battery to spare.
Electric cars no longer carry the hefty price tag they once did when it comes to insurance. Driver’s training can help reduce the risk of accident and maximising the battery life will help keep maintenance costs at bay. Both can contribute to lower claims cost and therefore reduce the insurance premium.