Range Anxiety is a term thrown around a lot. It applies to Petrol and Diesel too, but let’s face it, the term is mostly associated with EVs. We’ve pulled together our 5 Top Tips to turn Range Anxiety into Range Confidence!
1. Drive Efficiently
Driving habits significantly affect an EV's range. Smooth acceleration and deceleration can conserve energy. EVs benefit from regenerative braking, which recaptures energy typically lost during braking and returns it to the battery. Avoiding sudden starts and stops and maintaining a steady speed makes the most of the energy in the battery.
2. Use your Climate Control Wisely
Heating and air conditioning in EVs draw power from the battery, reducing overall range. To mitigate this, precondition your EV while it's still plugged in, heating or cooling the cabin before you start your trip. This uses electricity from the grid while your car is still plugged in.
Many new EVs have Heat Pumps which are incredibly efficient. Even so, reduce the temperature you have the cabin set to. For example, maybe 18C and a jumper is enough to keep you cozy! Even better, keep the heating off and just use the heated seats and steering wheel. This can make a huge difference in winter.
3. Mind Your Speed
High speeds increase aerodynamic drag, requiring more energy to maintain speed, which can significantly reduce your EV's range. Driving at or below the speed limit, especially on motorways, can help conserve energy.
We conducted an experiment on what benefit there was to reducing your speed on the motorway. We used two similarly sized SUVs, one electric and the other Diesel. We drove both at 100km/h on a round trip. We then did the exact same journey at 120km/h and measured the difference in energy consumption. We saw a 29% drop in fuel used! That’s a lot of savings right there!
So the key is here is to reduce your top speed on any journey, and predict the road ahead. Don’t accelerate into a traffic jam or red light.
4. Regular Maintenance
Keeping your EV in top condition can also help extend its range. This includes maintaining proper tyre pressure, as under-inflated tyres will massively increase rolling resistance and reduce efficiency. Regularly checking and replacing air filters, and ensuring your vehicle's software is up to date, can also improve performance and efficiency.
If you are replacing your tyres, make sure to ask your garage about the most efficient tyres available. Even if they are a little more expensive, they could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Proper maintenance of your car should be carried out by a capable professional. Here at AA Ireland, we have your back. We have a network of approved garages that you can book your car into.
5. Plan Your Route
Planning your route can help maximize your EV's range. If you’re looking to conserve energy then consider taking the shortest route, even if that means it takes an extra few minutes.
Avoid travelling during times of heavy traffic. Stop-start driving and being stuck in traffic jams will increase the amount of energy you are using on your trip, especially in winter if you’re keeping the heating on. You’re looking for a consistent drive at a steady speed!
If you own an EV and need to renew your car insurance then be sure to give us a call. We have a dedicated EV insurance product that covers extras such as your charging cables.