Tips & tricks for EV drivers

Driving an electric car is a like a breath of fresh air. You enjoy exceptional silence inside the vehicle and a smooth driving experience. However, you need to master certain reflexes in order to get the most out of your vehicle and the battery. This makes emission-free mobility worry-free mobility!

LeasePlan has put together a number of tips to help your inner electric pioneer in making the transition from fuel to battery. Got a practical question? Our staff will be happy to answer it.

Before setting off

Most electric vehicles are equipped with a feature that allows you to pre-programme the charging of the battery and the interior temperature. You can do this via the infotainment screen or the car's app. It pays to learn how to use this feature if you want to take advantage of the full potential of your EV.

  • Try to plan at-home charging so that you always use maximum power when there's high availability, such as at night or during the day if you have solar panels with sufficient capacity. A smart charging station can help you with this.
  • Cooling or heating the interior requires a lot of power, so it’s better to pre-heat or cool it while the car is charging. This saves battery energy and increases your range. The battery itself will also be brought up to temperature, so that it performs optimally.
  • Need to travel far? Plan your trip in advance and check where you can charge along the way. There's nothing more frustrating than looking for a place to charge, only to find that the charging station does not work or you have to wait your turn. Fortunately, there are lots of goods apps available, such as ChargeMap, Shell Recharge and Plugsurfing, which allow you to check the availability and prices of charging stations along your route.

On the road with your EV

If you want to travel longer distances without worry or limit the number of charging stops, it's a good idea to adapt your driving style. These tips will help you get more kilometres out of your battery without sacrificing driving enjoyment. Quite the contrary!

  • Slow down. Air resistance increases exponentially when you drive faster, with all the implications for consumption. Also avoid fast acceleration, no matter how tempting it may be to enjoy the quiet power of your EV.
  • Brake as regeneratively as possible. Every time you release the accelerator pedal, part of your car’s kinetic energy is recovered via the electric motor. It then acts as a generator, so that the energy flows back to the battery. The more you recover, the further you get with your car. You can often choose the braking level yourself. In some cases, you can even do one-pedal driving: accelerate, maintain speed and decelerate by varying the position of the accelerator pedal. You'll hardly need to use the brake pedal.
  • Keep track of your consumption data and try to beat your own record! Most EVs have a feature that allows you to monitor and track energy use. You can use this information to always try to do better. It's a fun daily game that is rewarded with extra kilometres and therefore lower costs.
  • Don't use the heating too much. To save energy, switch on the seat and/or steering wheel heating instead. The air conditioning system also consumes a lot of electricity. A heat pump helps reduce consumption and is recommended as an optional extra.

Charging on the road

  • Park your car in the shade in hot weather, so you don't waste energy cooling the car and/or battery. Conversely, it is advisable to park your car in the sun when it's cold out. The sun’s rays will help warm up the interior, saving energy.
  • Do you use a quick charger? In this case, it is preferable to choose a covered station. The rapid charging stations are also affected by heat and produce less power at high temperatures.
  • Use the Happy Charger charging station disc from LeasePlan. This shows how long before your car is fully charged. Your fellow EV drivers will really appreciate it! Place the disc in a visible location behind the windscreen and contribute to the sense of community among EV drivers! Order your LeasePlan Happy Charger charging station disc here.
  • Charge your car to 80% instead of 100%. This is because the final 20% will be much slower, which means you will keep the charging station occupied for longer. Also, fully charging the battery is not as good for its service life, nor is a deep discharge. Rule of thumb: keep the charging status between 20% and 80% as much as possible. This will help your battery last longer.

The 10 commandments of electric driving

Thanks to the above tips, you’re all set to make the most of your electric driving experience. We conclude with ten commandments that will turn you into an expert EV driver:

  1. Plan your trip ahead of time

    Use a good route planner, so that you always know whether there's a charging station nearby.

  2. Make sure you always have your charge card or cable with you.

    Make sure you always have your charge card or cable with you. This prevents any unpleasant surprises.

  3. Reduce your speed.

    This is especially relevant on motorways, so you can drive much further with your battery capacity.

  4. Don't accelerate too hard

    You save energy by braking and accelerating more slowly. So, anticipate situations and let your vehicle coast more. Relax and enjoy the drive!

  5. Use regenerative braking

    When you take your foot off the accelerator, the car will slow down and use the energy released to recharge the battery.

  6. Make sure your tyre pressure is correct.

    This is important not only for your safety and comfort, but also to reduce resistance and increase your range.

  7. Use summer and winter tyres.

    Winter tyres improve road holding during the coldest months of the year.

  8. Heat or cool your car while charging

    Set the desired temperature while the vehicle is still plugged in. As a result, you'll need less energy while driving.

  9. Be smart with energy

    Small things can make a big difference. For example, seat heating is an economical alternative to heating the interior. And by charging at the right times, you can also save a lot on your electricity bill.

  10. Maintain your battery properly

    Your battery is the beating heart of your EV, so only fully charge your battery when driving long distances. At all other times, 80% is the recommended maximum.

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