Getting the most out of your electric vehicle battery this summer

Operating an EV sometimes has its challenges, and one of them is being cognizant of battery limitations and adjusting your driving habits accordingly. In hotter weather especially, there are certain things to be aware of in order to squeeze out the most range possible for those impromptu drives out of town.

Air conditioning

When the sun is beating down, not using air con might seem crazy. Just remember, while running, it’s using up energy that could otherwise be allocated to moving the car. The higher the setting, the more juice is consumed. Some models have a preconditioning feature allowing you to control the climate settings remotely while the vehicle is still plugged in, or simply adjust it manually. Parking in the shade or in a covered area can also reduce reliance on the A/C.

honda cr-z stereo

Audio system

What’s a road trip without tunes? I’m not saying leave the iPod at home, but it, too, drains the battery. Leave the volume at a reasonable level and when you’re talking to someone or otherwise not listening, avoid leaving the stereo on in the background.

Cargo area

Summertime is chock full of activities requiring gear of some sort, whether it’s beach equipment, kayak paddles, a tent, the list goes on. Every extra kilogram of weight requires the car to work that much harder to get going. Don’t treat the vehicle as a rolling storage unit and remove items unlikely to be used at the immediate destination.

Eco mode

Most EVs possess an “Eco” mode that can be activated via a button press or twist of a dial. There are a variety of functions this encompasses, from limiting acceleration performance to modulating climate control all in the name of conserving power.

toyota prius eco score

Driver information

Depending on the manufacturer, the EV will have some kind of graphical representation of how energy is being distributed and utilized displayed. There may also be a menu option to provide an eco score based on the driving style observed by the computer last trip, with tips for improvement.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights