Electric cars are inherently efficient and clean. Even so, it pays off to make an effort to drive carefully and fully utilize the car’s potential. Here are a few tips to make the most of your car’s range and make it even more efficient:
This is the biggest advantage of electric or hybrid cars. They are able to turn kinetic energy back to electricity when braking – but only to a certain point. Be careful when you brake so you don’t activate your actual brakes and slow using just regeneration with your motor.
Most electric cars will help you plan the most efficient route and, if needed, suggest stops for recharging. Not only will you save electricity, you also will arrive to your destination with confidence that you won’t run out!
Electric cars’ efficiency is affected by increasing speed similarly as are regularly fuelled ones – in some cases even more so. Keeping to a reasonable travelling speed – usually it pays to stay right around the speed limits – helps you to make the most of the energy you have. A difference of even 10 or 20 km/h may affect your efficiency.
It is tempting to use the torque of an electric motor for instant acceleration, but driving smoothly is always more efficient. Don’t accelerate aggressively and, what’s even more important, don’t brake sharply if not needed.
CONTROL YOUR CLIMATE
Unlike combustion cars, electric ones can’t use the engine’s waste heat to keep your cabin warm. That means both the heater and AC use electricity. Be smart about parking – in the sun on cold days, in the shade when it’s hot. Try to control the temperature with ventilation instead of using the AC or heater. Use your heated seats and steering wheel so that you can keep the cabin’s temperature lower. Don’t open windows, because that interferes with the aerodynamics and costs you more power than does either the AC or the heater.
You can only be smooth and make full use of your regenerative braking if you know what’s ahead of you. Look far enough ahead so you can react in advance while continuing to drive smoothly and use regenerative braking.
Weight not only slows you down, it also costs you electricity. Take anything unnecessary – all the luggage you don’t need on your current journey, all the things you carry around “just in case” – out of the car. Every kilogram counts. And watch the aerodynamics, too. Try not to leave your windows open, and take off the bike racks or roof boxes when not in use.
So that your car can perform at its best, make sure it is always in perfect condition. Keep your tyres properly inflated and maintain your battery and drivetrain. Always be sure to use the proper recharging method to keep your battery in good condition.
MEASURE AND KEEP TRACK
Most electric cars are able to track your performance and energy consumption. Watch it closely and keep track of your economy over the long term. Especially if you drive similar routes often, you can use this to get a better grasp of what works and what doesn’t.
Your car probably offers a choice from several driving modes – some designed for better performance, some aimed at efficiency. One mode may be most effective for driving down a long hill, while another will work best in city rush hour traffic. Learn about these modes and how to use them most effectively.
DID YOU KNOW…
… that your car recharges faster when the battery is almost empty and that the process slows down as it gets closer to full charge? It you’re in rush, it may be better to make two shorter stops for recharging instead of one long stop.