7. Keep it smooth
Taking the path of least resistance is always going to reap rewards when you’re looking to maximise energy use. Avoid the temptation to revel in both lead-footed acceleration and demon late-braking and you’ll not see miles drop from your range indication faster than they roll under your wheels. By honing your anticipation and concentrating on reading the road ahead you’ll be able to carry more speed everywhere – through the corners, over roundabouts and out of junctions. This will mean you can take a gentler approach to the throttle and brakes, helping rinse some extra miles for the range. More importantly, you’ll become a better and safer driver in the process, while also having more fun as you aim to keep up the average speeds without taking a heavy toll on the battery.
8. Energy use
It’s not just the electric motor that has an effect on an EV’s range – there are also all the car’s ancillary functions, such as heating, lighting and infotainment. These systems have a surprising effect on battery life, and if you set the heater to maximum in many electric cars, you’ll instantly see a couple of miles drop off the range indicator. So it’s important to make sure you’re managing these energy drains as efficiently as possible. Pre-conditioning the car helps, but once moving set the climate control to its ‘eco’ setting, which normally disengages the air-con compressor. Most EVs also have heated seats, which will keep you warm while using fewer amps than the heater.
9. Be prepared
Mass is always the enemy of efficiency, so make sure your EV is as light as possible. We’re not condoning anything as extreme as stripping out seats and sound deadening, but do make sure the boot isn’t full of clutter. Slippery aerodynamics also help, so always remove roof racks and bike holders when not in use. And believe it or not, a clean car will genuinely scythe through the air with less drag than a dirty one, so frequent washing and waxing will always pay off. Tyre pressures are crucial too, with underinflated rubber increasing rolling resistance and taking a toll on the range.