The biggest anxiety for an EV user of a car or SUV is… will my car or SUV run till the range defined by the manufacturer? What if I can stretch the range, in case of an emergency; and by how much?
So, here we share some useful tips to reduce your anxiety :
1. Use of Regenerative Braking:
Every EV vehicle is having a feature of regenerative braking. This feature is a braking system wherein the electric motor gets used as a generator to send the energy back to the battery every time the driver lifts his foot off the accelerator or brake. While the energy generated may be only a small fraction but is adequate to add a little more distance to the range.
In EVs, wherein there is a provision of altering the resistance from the generator to deliver a stronger braking effect, that releases more energy that can be retransmitted back to the battery. It is a feature in the Hyundai Kona Electric.
In city riding, it is better to use a higher regeneration level, that maximizes energy generation for shorter stopping distances. And on the highways, a lower regeneration level is recommended for maximizing distance traveled, as you coast along.
2. Always pre-condition your car:
Always pre-program your EV’s Charging and heating/cooling programs before going on a drive. For instance, car Air Conditioning requires a large amount of energy to run. Always switch on the AC when the car is getting charged. Do this for demisting or defrosting the windows and even heating the seat.
This will mean that during driving, one has to only set the temperature settings, saving charge on the battery.
3. Always ensure that the battery is optimally charged:
Always ensure that your Battery is charged to 80% of its capacity. This can be done faster than when charging is done for 100% capacity. The last 20% charge usually, takes a long time and heats the cells, which can degrade them. Charge the batteries at 100% when the entire range will be utilized.
4. Have a predetermined route:
Along with the range in distance, plan the route map too, if possible, in advance. Avoid the bottlenecks like bad road conditions, congestion, convenient schedule, overloading, etc. All these ensure that the best options for ease of driving are exercised. This directly helps in getting optimal range while ensuring the battery performance remains optimal.
5. Avoid overspeeding:
Faster speeds can mean more energy is being expended. Do not indulge in an instant and fast acceleration. Accelerate steadily, this will ensure the energy consumption is not rapid and allow you to drive for optimal range.
6. Drive Smoothly:
Faster acceleration and slow driving are both not in the interest of obtaining optimum range efficiency. Take care especially at the corners, roundabouts, and junctions. Drive safe and at consistent speeds. This will not take a heavy toll on the battery.
7. Use the feature accessories carefully:
The modern EVs come loaded with features and accessories including infotainment and entertainment. These features can draw a substantial amount of charge from the batteries. Like heating, the seat, demisting or defrosting.
Always pre-condition the car, to ensure that these features are pre-conditioned while charging the batteries. The batteries will then function optimally during the driving stage.
8. Don’t overload the Cars:
Do not overload the boot with heavy accessories including spare wheels and heavy luggage. And maintain proper tyre pressure, wash and wax your car. Work to ensure that proper aerodynamics are maintained.
9. Always top up your charge:
Wherever and whenever possible, always top up your charge. Give your car a break-even on long drives, and give a facility of top-up charging during the break.
10. Choose a larger battery:
While most cars have defined battery options for each model, there are cases where the manufacturer has allowed flexibility of more than one type of battery, for the car. In that car, it is advisable to go in for the larger battery.
A larger battery would have more charge and hence a longer range.