How to Improve Your Electric Car Range: 7 Proven Tips
An EV’s range can play a major role in the lifestyle of its owner. Being aware of how far you can go between charges and what factors affect your battery life can shape your daily schedule and how you plan your route. Perhaps you have an alert on your phone to remind you to start charging at night so you have the range for the next day, or maybe you plan your errands around your favorite Chargie charging station so you can get some charging in while out and about. Whether you’re looking to maximize the miles between charges or need to conserve power when getting nervously low, here are some tips on how to improve your EV’s range.
What is electric car range?
Put simply, an electric car’s range is the maximum distance an EV can drive based on the amount of charge within its battery. An electric vehicle’s battery size is measured in kWh and range is determined by the make and model’s efficiency to convert that power into movement – on average, most EVs get around 3 miles/kWh. Check out your EV’s specifications to learn its range and efficiencies.
1. Feather the throttle
While this isn’t the most fun tip, one way to significantly improve your EV’s range is to be gentle with the accelerator whenever possible. Of course, sometimes you need to stomp on the “gas,” but if you can avoid it, accelerating slowly will consume less power, extending your range. If your EV has an “Eco” mode, this also helps ease up on the acceleration.
2. Watch your speed
Being the slower car on the road (safely, of course) will boost your EV’s range. Whenever possible, try to drive just under the speed limit. To give some perspective, you can save 14% of your car’s energy by reducing your speed by 10 mph. Wind resistance increases dramatically at speeds above 65mph so staying at or below the speed limit will greatly help the conservation of energy. As a bonus, you’ll be much less likely to get an expensive speeding ticket.
3. Take advantage of regenerative braking
Use the electric vehicle’s energy restoring regenerative braking at its maximum setting. This advanced braking system can recharge the battery a little bit each time you let off the accelerator or use your brakes. On average, drivers using regenerative braking regenerate around 8% of their battery capacity with some reporting as high as 30% (going up and down large hills). Just note that the amount regenerated is dependent on the terrain being driven.
4. Ease up on climate control
This is another less-than-fun tip, but whenever you can comfortably reduce your use of climate control (your heater and air conditioner), you are significantly boosting your electric vehicle’s range. Unlike with gas powered vehicles, knowing how the weather can affect your EV is crucial to estimating your range. We’re not suggesting eliminating climate control completely, but using it less to increase range. For extreme heat and cold, turn on the climate control while your EV is plugged in before leaving. Bringing your car’s cabin to a comfortable temperature while plugged in makes less work for the climate control once you’re on your way. If you’re ever seriously short on a charge, turn off climate control completely to help get you to the next charging station safely.
5. Take care of your tires
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and aligned. Not only will this increase your safety, but it will also increase your EV’s range. When your car’s tires are properly aligned and inflated correctly, it takes less energy to move your EV and increases the life of your tires. It is advised to have your alignment checked every 6,000 miles and if your car doesn’t have a built in tire pressure sensor, to use a portable tire gauge to check your tire pressure and refill as needed.
6. Unload your car
The less you have in your car, the lighter your vehicle will be and the less energy it will take to move. Of course, having some essentials in your car is good, but do you need those extra kettlebells? The more you unload out of your car, the more significant your range increase will be.
7. Think about aerodynamics
Consider the extra things you add to your car. Luggage racks and bike racks increase weight and wind resistance, making your EV work harder and use more energy, which reduces range. The minor loss of range may be worth it to you, but it’s a good thing to consider before installing additional equipment.
Electric vehicle charging with Chargie
Wherever you choose to go, Chargie can help you get there. Charge your electric car quickly with our 98%+ network availability and easy to use app. Our customer service representatives are here for you 24/7/365, and can help you with the click of a button. If you’d like a Chargie station at your workplace, apartment, or multifamily home, reach out to be connected to a Chargie team member.