3. Conditioning the car

Perhaps one of the neatest tricks you can perform with an EV is to pre-programme its charging and heating programmes from the comfort of your armchair. The air-conditioning system requires a fair amount of energy to run, especially when it is trying to warm or cool the cabin in extremes of temperature. So it’s best to get this done when the car’s plugged in and charging, then all it has to do when you’re running is maintain a set temperature, which uses less energy. This feature is particularly useful when the weather is at its coldest, as you can pre-condition the cabin’s temperature, demist or defrost the windows and even set your heated seat while the car is still charging, helping to preserve the battery’s power for driving.

4. Conditioning the battery

One of the keys to a strong battery is correct charging, as better conditioned cells perform better and live longer. Given that the majority of journeys are short hops with frequent top-up charges when you return home, then most of the time it’s best to charge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity. Not only is this faster, it means you avoid the last 20 percent of charge that is slower and heats the cells more, potentially degrading them. When you do need the car’s full range capability, then you can charge the battery to its maximum capacity safely in the knowledge that the cells will be at their best and that the available range will be optimised.

5. Route planning

It’s not just a question of how far you go in your EV, it’s also how you get there. The more time you spend on high speed routes such as motorways and dual carriageways, the greater amount of energy you’ll need and the quicker your predicted range will tumble. Plan your route carefully, however, and you can get more kilometres for your kilowatt. Happily you won’t need to spend hours poring over your road atlas to figure out an efficient route, because most sat-navs will do it in seconds. With a little more than a few taps on a touchscreen you’ll find an option for the most economical route. Sure it’ll take a bit longer from A to B, but it’s also possible that reduced energy use might mean you’ll go further on a charge and not have to stop off for a time-consuming top-up.


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