Five Ways To Maximise Your EV’s Range
The range of electric vehicles (EVs) is improving all the time. Within a decade, typical range has jumped up from 75 miles to over 250.
Still, you want to make every charge count. And that means taking good care of your EV. By following the advice in this blog, you can say goodbye to range anxiety and take to the road with confidence!
1. Look after the battery
An EV with a degraded battery won’t travel as far. For optimal battery health, we recommend following two best practices.
The first is to avoid extreme highs or lows in your state of charge (SoC). If you always let the battery run down to 0%, or constantly top up the charge to 100%, the battery will degrade more quickly, and the vehicle’s range will suffer as a result. It’s best to keep your EV between 10 and 90% charge – and only fill to 100% for especially long journeys.
Our second tip is to use fast chargers sparingly. If you use them too frequently, the battery capacity will decline. You also run the risk of overheating the battery, which can lead to fires in extreme cases. Research from Kia found that eight years of standard charging results in 10% more battery life than eight years of fast charging.
This doesn’t mean you should never use a fast charger – they’re still incredibly useful. But don’t think you can use them all the time without damaging your battery.
2. Be mindful of high and low temperatures
EV batteries perform best between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is above 30, you should avoid leaving your car in direct sunlight; try finding a shaded spot instead. Lithium-ion batteries aren’t fond of cold temperatures either: leaving your car outside in freezing temperatures will also negatively impact your range.
Cold weather also means more interior heating. The more you choose to heat, the more your vehicle’s range will be affected. If you’re driving alone, it’s more economical to heat your individual seat or the steering wheel than to heat the whole cabin. Try out a few variations and see what works best for you!
3. Drive smoothly
This is good advice for any motorist, EV or otherwise. Reckless driving doesn’t just endanger other road users – it also puts your battery at risk. This is particularly true when it comes to acceleration. There’s an understandable temptation to push your EV to the limits – after all, EVs reach top speed so quickly and smoothly – but you should remember to drive gently. Pushing too hard on the accelerator or driving too fast will both impact your range.
A good workaround is to use adaptive cruise control when travelling at high speeds. You’ll be amazed at how much they can extend your range!
This also applies to braking. Electric vehicles can use the resistance of the motor to slow the car down, and this ‘regenerative braking’ also generates energy which is put back into the battery. Watch the road layout and traffic ahead and, where possible, try to avoid braking harshly. Not only will you improve your efficiency and extend your range, but you’ll also reduce wear on your brake parts.
4. Check your tyre pressure and wheel alignment
Tyre pressure should be checked at least once a month. Besides affecting grip, underinflated tyres lead to a 0.2% drop in mileage for every pound per square inch (psi) beneath the suggested tyre pressure. You’ll also have to replace your tyres sooner if you don’t inflate them enough.
At the same time, keep a close eye on your wheel alignment. If you feel the car pull in one direction or another, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Improper alignment can reduce your range by as much as 10%!
5. Don’t fill the car with unnecessary items
As with any vehicle, excess weight in an EV reduces range. That means avoiding things like roof racks – these greatly affect a vehicle’s aerodynamics and will not do your range any favours! If you store any heavy items in the car, such as bags or equipment, consider whether these are really necessary for your journey before setting off. Over time, all these small differences really add up!
Our net-zero commitment
LeasePlan is leading the transition to zero-emission mobility and has set itself the goal to achieve net-zero tailpipe emissions from its funded fleet by 2030. As a founding member of the EV100 – a global initiative of forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to EVs – sustainable mobility is at the heart of everything we do.