Ways To Go Further with a Little Effort
We’d all like a little extra range for our electric vehicles. Range is one of the top selling points for any manufacturer. Luckily, there are some clever ways to extend your range that only require a little mindfulness and some regular maintenance. Here are seven tips to boost the range of your electric car.
Mind Your Tires
Don’t rely on your sensors. They’ll let you know when your tires are seriously low, but not otherwise. Make a habit of regularly checking your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires harm your mileage, so keep them at the psi recommended by the manufacturer, found on a sticker inside the driver’s door. Don’t overfill your tires either, as this will wear out your tires much faster and harm their gripping ability.
Take Off Your Roof Rack
Remove your roof rack to reduce your electric vehicle’s wind resistance. A recent study found a roof rack reduced the fuel efficiency of an internal combustion engine vehicle by 25 percent, so you can imagine how much range you’re sacrificing when you drive around with a roof rack on your electric car.
Use Cruise Control
If you’re driving on flat roads, turn on the cruise control, as driving at a constant speed will save on battery power. Switch it off if you get into some hills, because cruise control will actually use more battery energy here. Cruise control accelerates needlessly in hilly terrain because it can’t anticipate reaching the top of a hill and letting off the gas to coast like a human can.
Watch Your Speed
Drive like your grandmother, and you’ll increase the range of your vehicle. Accelerate gradually, take corners slowly, and brake early and gradually. Cars are tuned to highway speeds, so try and drive just under the limit, once you get too far away from the speed limit, your efficiency and your range do a nosedive.
Minimize AC and Heating Use by Preconditioning
Air conditioning and heating will both eat up some of your battery’s energy. Precondition your car while it is still charging. If you are able to reach your desired temperature while the vehicle is still plugged in, you will not need to spend as much energy maintaining that temperature as you would reaching it on the road.
Your Wheel Alignment
Be sure to get your wheel alignment checked from time to time, usually after you change your tires or if you bump a curb especially hard. Not only can an improper wheel alignment cost you 10 percent of your range, your tires will wear out faster as well.
Treat Your Battery Nicely
Over time and with use, any electric vehicle’s battery will slowly lose capacity, but there are definitely habits that will cause your battery to degrade much faster than is necessary. Leaving a car parked outside in high temperatures is one, so is keeping the battery at, or near, full charge frequently. It might sound counterintuitive, but you should keep you battery’s state of charge low whenever you can.
An impressive range is one of the most important qualities sought in an electric vehicle. Increasing your car’s range is easier than you might think. Just follow these seven tips and you can significantly boost the range of your electric car.