So, previously we have talked about range anxiety, and looked at some ways to ease that fear. There are a couple of ways to make sure that you are getting the best range from your electric car, and these in turn help you to improve on your confidence for longer journeys. It may surprise you to learn that how you drive and the conditions of the road etc when you drive can actually change the overall range.
Know Your Vehicle
All electric vehicles are different, they have different ranges and features. Be sure to understand the features of your vehicle. You may have things like an economy mode, or some other term that is used to denote various different power features. Economy mode can save you a few miles in range. Be sure to fully charge the battery though. There are various myths about only charging to 80% or less. However, whilst this used to be recommended by some manufactures now 100% is the standard. The only word of caution is not leaving the car sat for weeks on end with a full battery.
Slow Your Speed
So, air drag is an issue. When you look at high performing race cars, the reason they have such powerful engines is because this is the only way to overcome air friction. However, as you cannot travel at such speeds you are actually better off slowing your speed slightly. On a faster road, where the speed limit is either the national limit of 60mph or 70mph on motorways, it is actually better to lower the speed to something in the region of about 53 mph. Ok, you might feel like a Sunday driver, and have others passing you but if you can learn to go with the flow and be a little bit more chilled you will discover that the reward is a 15-30% extension of your driving range.
Think About Stops
The basic rule is the less you have to use the brakes, the more energy you preserve. So, a bit of forward planning is needed. Watching and reading the road can all help. If you are approaching traffic lights that you can see might be about to change to stop, allow yourself to coast towards them. The same works on lights that are on red, if you approach gently you might find that they are changing to green again as you reach them.
Under a similar principle building up speed slightly slower will also save you some much valued energy, basically a calm and chilled drive is the best plan. Is there really any need to race from place to place at full pelt? Making some little changes to your driving habits as described above can also help to keep you safer anyway, so why not take a bit more time out and really enjoy the experience of driving your awesome green car that is not damaging the environment – and feel a little be smug because you deserve it.