Owning an EV (Electric Vehicle) comes with certain responsibilities. Amongst the majority of EV forums / Facebook groups etc, there is one topic which is most often spoken about. As most of us are aware, range anxiety, or at least being hypersensitive to your EV range, is at the forefront of most EV driver's minds. During the winter, any EV driver will know that the range seems to be noticeably lower than any other time of the year. Cold conditions are the main culprit. Andersen EV has put together a helpful guide on how to get the most from your EV during the winter season, including tips you can implement daily to help you get the most range and battery life from your EV.
Pre-Conditioning your EV
A commonly found and highly valued feature within EVs these days, is smart pre-conditioning. Pre-conditioning can be easily controlled by the individual who will typically use their vehicle's mobile app to prepare their vehicle for their journey. This allows the vehicle's cabin to reach its optimal temperature before starting a drive, which ultimately makes the process less energy-intensive for your EV battery pack, resulting in a longer battery range and life.
To break this down and help you understand the process, consider a petrol or diesel vehicle. The process of heating the vehicle’s interior includes utilising waste heat from the engine. As EVs do not run as their ICE (internal combustion engine) counterparts, there isn’t enough waste heat available to heat your car's interior, therefore any energy required for heating must come from the vehicle’s battery, consequently reducing the range. Pre-conditioning your EV is, therefore, the optimal method to help extend your vehicle's range, by reducing the energy required for heating during your journey.
Limit the amount of AC / Heating in the cabin
Air conditioning is probably one of, if not the main reason you aren’t receiving the maximum mileage from your battery. As previously explained, any energy for A/C has to come from your car battery itself.
To help maximise and receive optimal miles from a charge, limit the amount of A/C in the cabin of your vehicle. Instead, if your vehicle has heated seats and/or a heated steering wheel, it is highly recommended to use these to warm your car, as these use less energy than your heating and therefore you will likely see a rise in your range.
Plan your Journeys
Planning your journey, to determine the most efficient route, helps you to get a good idea of the amount of charge you need in your EV to get you to your destination. As with an ICE vehicle, faster speeds use more energy, resulting in a lower range. By reducing motorway driving, you will get more miles from your charge. Although the UK’s EV charging infrastructure is rapidly growing, with public charging becoming more readily available, it is important to make note and plan any stops accordingly. There are many apps available which allow you to view where the fast public chargers are, enabling you to build this into your route, ensuring you have sufficient charge to complete your journey. These factors will help you have a stress-free journey, with the peace of mind that you will get to your destination without any problems.
Take advantage of regenerative braking
One feature, which is becoming almost a standard function amongst EVs, is regenerative braking. This is where your EV will utilise wasted energy from braking and puts that energy back into the battery, helping extend your EV’s range. Most EVs will have the functionality to control either the strength of the braking or to turn it off/on.
Regenerative braking is the process of the EV electric motors that propel the vehicle, reversing. Taking the braking energy and helping add miles to your range. It also acts similar to a generator where energy is fed back into the system, helping to replenish some of the vehicle's range.
Using regenerative braking is useful all year round, but especially in winter when you want to preserve as much range as possible. We highly recommend using and taking full advantage of this commonly found function to increase your vehicle's range.
Range loss due to tyre pressure
By staying vigilant of your EV's tyre pressure and making adjustments as needed, during the winter months you can significantly impact your vehicle’s range and efficiency. A well-maintained tyre pressure ensures that your electric vehicle continues to deliver optimal performance even in the chilliest weather, allowing you to make the most of every winter drive.
Here is a short guide with tips on how to maintain correct tyre pressure:
- Start with the Right Pressure: Begin by inflating your EVs tyres to the recommended pressure levels outlined in the manufacturer's guidelines. The correct pressure is crucial for minimising rolling resistance and maximising range.
- Monitor tyre Pressure Regularly: Cold temperatures can cause tyre pressure to fluctuate more frequently. Check your tyre pressure at least once a week during winter, to ensure it stays within the recommended range.
- Understand the Impact on Range: Low tyre pressure increases rolling resistance, forcing your EV to work harder, subsequently reducing its range. By maintaining optimal tyre pressure, you reduce this resistance and improve energy efficiency, ultimately preserving your EV's range.
- Cold Weather Adjustments: Recognise that tyre pressure tends to decrease in colder temperatures. Adjust the pressure according to the manufacturer's guidelines for winter conditions, compensating for potential losses.
- Efficiency and Safety Go Hand in Hand: Properly inflated tyres not only enhance your EV's range but also contribute to better handling and overall safety, especially on slippery winter roads.
With several known factors contributing to the range of your EV, it is not difficult to help extend your EV range, especially in the winter. With this being said, there is a rule to abide by, which will help with range anxiety. The ABC rule - Always Be Charging. Although this may not always be practical, it is a great way to maintain a reliable amount of charge in your EV without the worry of being stranded.
In conclusion, as the winter season challenges electric vehicle owners, we have now provided you with a comprehensive guide to help you maximise your EVs performance during these chilly months. From utilising smart pre-conditioning to reduce energy consumption to maintaining the correct tyre pressure, these tips will ensure you get the most out of your EV even in cold conditions. To embark on a winter of worry-free driving, consider implementing these strategies.
Take the first step towards an enhanced EV experience – order your Andersen EV charge point now and embrace a season of efficiency, performance, and peace of mind on the road. Always be prepared, and always be charging. Order your Andersen A2 now and stay powered up throughout the winter!