1. Collect and Monitor Driving Data:
All consumer and fleet Electric Vehicles have their own unique driving patterns. To truly maximize range and energy efficiency, the most powerful tool at your disposal is knowledge of your driving and charging patterns. Electric Vehicle telematics allows owners to better understand how much range they need, how to improve it, and when improvements will be necessary.
2. Learn and Use Driving Mode Settings:
Nearly all modern electric vehicles allow you to alter their performance to match your driving needs with a quick push of a button. Some modes increase performance at a cost to battery range. Others allow you to maximize range at the expensive of acceleration or by tuning the regenerative breaking more aggressively to recapture energy.
3. Be Kind to your Battery:
With time and use, Electric Vehicle batteries degrade, losing capacity and cutting maximum driving range for each charge. Usually, batteries tend to retain 75 percent of their more of their capacity for at least 4 years. But how quickly a battery’s capacity deteriorates is highly dependent on how it’s used. Cars that spend a lot of time parked outside in hot weather experience battery deterioration at much faster rates than those kept in temperate climates. How big an effect this has depends upon model and average temperature, so choosing the right car—which usually means one with an active cooling system—for warmer climates makes a big difference.
4. Easy on the Accelerator:
Time may be money, but so too is electricity. It should come as no surprise that gradual acceleration from a stop is far more efficient for an electric vehicle’s powertrain than “flooring it.” For many drivers, this effect will be most pronounced in stop-and-go traffic, while others will see it more from aggressive highway driving.
5. Coast when Possible:
An added advantage to reducing unnecessary acceleration is reducing your reliance on braking. Sure, all electric vehicles have regenerative braking which helps to preserve energy, but those systems are only capable of recapturing a fraction of the energy lost to hard braking. Particularly in heavy traffic, try coasting to a stop as much as possible. It could add up to several miles worth of added range for each charge.
Lithium ion battery efficiency changes depending on the temperature under which its operated. But an even bigger contributor to lost EV efficiency stems from the comfort needs of the human beings driving them. Vehicle heating and air conditioning systems can suck up serious energy, depleting range and increasing charge cost. To prevent this, drivers can often use smart phone apps to pre-condition their vehicle before getting into them, which saves energy that could be used on the road.
One of the best perks of all-electric vehicles is their relative lack of maintenance demands. However, simple things like tire inflation, checking fluid levels and replacing air filters can extend a battery’s range by several miles per charge. Fleets can use vehicle data to optimize maintenance schedules and keep each car in optimal shape during use.
8. Route Selection:
For many fleets, certain driving destinations tend to repeat themselves. We have apps on our phones to tell us the fastest way to get between Point A and Point B, but that isn’t always the most efficient. Electric vehicles preserve the most range when travelling at steady, lower speeds.
9. Keep it Light:
All vehicles lose efficiency the more weight they’re carrying. For modest range improvements keep any non-essential weight out of the vehicle when it’s in use. This may include passengers, equipment, delivery items or that set of dumbbells you bought but haven’t bothered to take out of the car. Every little bit counts.
10. Be Brave:
Studies have found that Electric Vehicle drivers tend to be overly cautious about running out of range. Educating drivers on how to use an EV’s built-in range estimates alongside driving data and familiarity with routes should give them the confidence to get the most out of each charge. Unnecessarily cutting a trip short or delaying service to charge when more juice isn’t actually needed can cost valuable time and money.