When speaking to friends on the topic of 100% battery-electric vehicle transportation, or those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, one question that consistently comes up is “how far can you go in one of those “EVs”? The answer, as those who own an EV or enthusiasts know, varies depending on the vehicle you are talking about.
Currently, it is safe to say the average EV can comfortably drive 70-80 miles on a single charge, although there is an elite few (such as the Tesla Model S) that can do well above this and easily clock 200+ mile.
The technology is evolving and once every battery-electric vehicle is capable of Tesla range, EVs will become practical for longer journeys.
Yet, what if you can’t wait for that; what if longer journey’s are an infrequent thing for you; what if your conscience has got the better of you and you can’t stand polluting the air any longer; what if a silent, stress-free drive is far too compelling to ignore these futuristic and “sexy” electric cars.
These are all reasons why there are now over 40,000 zero-emission, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the UK, with this number doubling year on year.
Although the vehicle’s battery capacity is a key factor to a BEVs range, the driver can often maximise and sometimes exceed the car’s estimated top range by employing the following tips.
1. Eek it out with Eco
Driving in eco-mode is a must if you are trying to get more miles out of your electric vehicle. Eco-mode generally limits the cars acceleration and top speed as well as increasing overall efficiency. It is alo common that it will increase the amount of regenerative braking applied.
2. Stay level-headed
Make sure you plan ahead and favour the flatter roads. Tackling hilly terrain is a sure way to rifle through your range, so if there is the option to avoid those steep inclines, we say take it!
This one is pretty obvious and follows the same logic as with conventionally powered vehicles; if you put your foot down you are going to lose valuable miles.
4. Play it cool
Having the heating on will eat away at that EV range, so make sure you switch it off.
5. Not too cool though
By the same token, to maximise your EV range, try to avoid using the air-con. It all runs on electric!
6. “Pump up the Jam”
Much as Belgium sensation Technotronic suggest in their 1989 classic, try to keep your tyres pumped up at all times. This will reduce resistance and ultimately allow you to go the little bit further.
7. Wind it in
On the topic of less resistance, wind up those windows to get the most out of your battery range.
8. Smooth mover
Most often the car’s Eco mode will ensure that you achieve smooth and steady acceleration, however it can’t hurt to be extra sensitive with the pedal on take off.
9. Clear out your boot
Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief at Auto Express and Carbuyer, said: “Don’t use your car as an extension of your garden shed – clear out unnecessary stuff from the boot and inside the car. Superfluous items mean extra weight and, as far as a car’s economy is concerned, weight is the enemy of efficiency.”
10. Rapid EV charging
If you can’t reach your destination on a single charge or perhaps just want some insurance, there are over 1300 rapid charging points all over the country which (if your EV is compatible) can provide an 80% charge in under 30 minutes. Many of them are located at service stations along UK motorways. What’s more, some are completely free to use. Make sure to use our UK-wide charging map, Zap-Map Live, to identify rapids along your chosen route.