Seemingly simple changes to your driving or your environment can drastically affect your range, the estimated distance you can travel on a single charge. Inclement weather, stop-and-go traffic, and your mountain bike on the roof can all impact how far you can drive before you need to plug in again.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to increase your range. While many of these tips apply to vehicles of any kind, they are especially helpful if you are trying to extend your electric vehicles’s range on a long road trip or on a cold day. Here are 10 tips to get the most out of your EV’s range.
1. Drive during temperate times of day.
The battery in your car performs best within a specific temperature range, and any temperature above or below that range means that the car has to warm or cool the battery. When unplugged, the car draws down the battery to maintain its optimal temperatures.
Cold temperatures in particular can decrease driving range because the battery needs to use more energy to maintain optimal temperatures for driving and charging. Temperatures around or below freezing may also limit the car’s ability to use regenerative braking until the battery is warmer. The average electric vehicle driving range decreases 12 percent when temperatures dip below 20 degrees fahrenheit, according to a 2019 study from AAA. Colder temperatures also make it more difficult for your battery to accept charge, which means you regain range at a slower rate.
While it’s less impactful than a chilly winter’s day, the height of summer can also eat into your range. When the thermometer climbs past 95 degrees, efficiency decreases by 4 percent from the weather alone, according to the AAA range study.