Whether you’re a new electric vehicle (EV) owner, an experienced driver or just looking into your options, it’s good to know how to make the most of an EV's battery charge. Different types of EVs have a wide range of mileage options, but there are things owners can do to increase their range.
In Town Versus Highway
Do you use your EV to run nearby errands or for a long commute to work? In-town driving usually benefits battery range, since EVs use the braking system to put energy back into the battery, called regenerative braking. Coasting toward the stoplight also helps because you can move forward without using power.
Although painstakingly obvious, driving will always drain the battery. Higher speeds require more battery power than lower speeds.
Rate of Acceleration
While driving EVs is fun because they get up and go, high (and rapid) acceleration requires more energy than taking off more slowly. Managing a “lead foot” helps improve your car’s battery range.
While all types of conditions affect battery range, frigid temperatures cause the biggest drain. It requires more energy to keep the battery running when it is cold outside.
Controlling the comfort inside your EV is the biggest power drain, second to driving it. Warming your EV’s cabin takes more energy when it is cold outside. The same is also true when you use energy to blast the air conditioner while it is hot outside.
The size of your EV, how many passengers are on board and how much extra stuff you have in your trunk impact battery range. The lighter the car, the less energy the battery expends.
How Full is Too Full?
Most EV owners avoid charging a battery to 100%, since fully charging affects battery life. While some EV owners charge to a maximum of 80% capacity, many EV enthusiasts now recommend charging to 50% full. Taking a long road trip? Some experts believe charging to full capacity now and then is not a major concern.
Source: Kelley Blue Book