How to get the best possible range from your electric car?

The claimed range of an EV can be quite a delight but to ensure no nightmares in the real world, here are some quick tips and tricks to ensure the best possible range.


File photo of electric cars used for representational purposes. (REUTERS)

Thinking of buying an electric car but worried about the range? Want to contribute in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions but don’t want to be stranded in the middle of the road with a depleted battery? Want the silent performance of an electric vehicle (EV) but what about doing long road trips? EVs have countless benefits but it is also true that range is one of the biggest factors influencing eventual buying decisions.

Much like how engines form the core of any conventional vehicle, batteries are the heart and soul of an EV. But while fuel stations are a dime a dozen across the world and it takes just minutes to get a tankful, EV-support infrastructure is only gradually coming up and even then, can take hours to power a compatible vehicle to full.

Some simple tips and tricks, however, can ensure that you extract the best possible range from your EV. Here’s how to last the distance in an EV:

Get the best possible range from your EV

Step 1:

When shopping for an EV, closely check the battery specifications on each model. While this alone does not guarantee a superior range, the size of a battery plays a crucial role. Then there is the efficiency with which the battery is cooled and its density. A battery inside an EV is found to be at its best between temperature range of 15C to 35C but that’s not to say that temperatures below or above aren’t conducive.

Step 2:

You have selected your favorite model. Great. Now it is time to drive out. Here it is important to note that while EVs have instantaneous torque on offer, being gentle with throttle inputs is the best way to extract a solid range figure. No sudden acceleration and no high-speed style – much like how to get best mileage from petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.

Step 3:

If your EV offers the option of regenerative braking, play around with the settings. What this feature does is auto applies some amount of brake when the foot is taken off the throttle. The kinetic energy is returned and charges the battery. It is also often referred to as one-pedal drive system because a driver only makes use of the accelerator.

Step 4:

Cruise control can save petrol and diesel but isn’t much help when trying to extend the range of an EV. It of course helps with driving convenience.

Step 5:

The lighter an EV, the better range you can expect. That’s not to say you chuck out your kids from the backseats! But check the vehicle for unnecessary cargo and make sure to get rid of these.

Step 6:

A number of factors such as uphill climbs, high temperature, air-conditioning and poor road conditions adversely affect the range of an EV. If planning a relatively long journey, do take these factors into account.

Step 7:

Plan your route well. This is especially crucial when taking an EV out on a road trip. Ensure that there are sufficient number of charging points on your route and at your final destination.

Remember, just because a company is claiming a certain range figure does not mean that you would get this exact same figure in the real world. Range of an EV, much like the mileage of a conventional car, is calculated under controlled conditions during tests. But that does not necessarily mean you cannot strive for the best-possible range each time you drive out. Keep it simple, keep it easy and drive clean.

First Published Date: 20 Sep 2022, 12:07 PM IST

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