Electric cars look to be the norm going forward which is why it makes sense to acquaint ourselves with their behaviours and idiosyncrasies.
Arguably the most common question among future EV owners is how to maximize EV driving range. As more vehicles get electrified, this is a valid question. Extending the distance an EV can travel on a single charge is critical for mass adoption and to appease range anxiety. In this blog, we shall explore several tips and strategies to improve electric driving range. This would range from optimizing driving habits and maximizing battery efficiency to utilizing charging infrastructure effectively.
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How to Maximize EV Range?
Firstly, let us commence by discussing a built-in feature that most EVs inherently possess – Regenerative Braking. During acceleration, the electric motor takes power from the battery to power the wheels. However, during braking, the kinetic and heat energy can be used in the reverse direction to get stored back into the battery. When the driver lifts his/her foot off the gas pedal, this reverse circulation of energy can bring the car to a complete stop. This is called energy recuperation or regenerative braking. This is a great feature that could be used on downhill slopes to get some juice back into the battery.
Reducing Energy Consumption in the Cabin
You might know that it is nigh impossible to get the exact driving range that is claimed by the company as per the WLTP or any other standardized test cycle. This is because the range depends on various factors including driving mannerisms and the use of energy-sucking components like HVAC, heated and ventilated seats, auxiliary audio systems, etc. Now we understand that you can’t switch off the AC when it’s scorching hot, but in the case of an emergency, you must know that turning all these functions off can help maximize the range.
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Battery Management and Maintenance
An eminent aspect of electric cars is their battery management system. In fact, carmakers are burning a lot of cash in the development of the BMS for EVs. This takes into account how well the cooling system is, how will the battery perform outside the ideal temperature range, how often does a battery need maintenance, etc. Regularly monitoring the battery’s state of charge (SoC) and avoiding extremely high or low levels can help prolong battery life. Sticking to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules, including software updates and battery health checks, helps maintain optimal performance.
Using Charging Infrastructure Prudently
You would think what role can the charging infrastructure play in maximizing range, right? Well, it is well-known that prolonged fast charging of any Li-ion battery can reduce its life. Sure, it doesn’t degrade the battery too much too rapidly. But if you are planning to own an EV for 8-10 years or even beyond that, making a conscious decision of using DC rapid charging minimally can make a lot of difference. For this, proper planning is needed. You must develop the habit of charging your EV at your home or work using an AC charger. Restrict the usage of DC rapid charging for long journeys on highways.
Finally, the most effective way to maximize the driving range of an EV depends on the way you drive it. Now, this is true even to sequester the maximum fuel economy from your ICE-powered vehicle and this law holds true even in the EV world. As opposed to ICE cars, EVs are more suited for city driving and not high-speed scenarios on highways. Higher energy gets consumed in the latter case. Traditional cars are more efficient on the highways but consume a lot of fuel in bumper-to-bumper traffic. To squeeze the maximum range though, simple habits like using the throttle and brake pedal gently and not flooring it is the way to go.
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Learn Electric Cars Says
These are some tips and strategies that one could incorporate in everyday life, as well as from a long-term perspective to ensure that the health of the battery is great and you are able to get the maximum range out of every charging cycle. We must also add that the R&D on batteries is still ongoing and ways to increase range and reduce charging times are surfacing every day. Hence, we might get more efficient batteries going forward.