8 Essential Summer Tips to Increase Your Electric Vehicle’s Range

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8 Essential Summer Tips to Increase Your Electric Vehicle's Range

Many EV enthusiasts are aware that cold climates can reduce an electric vehicle’s (EV) range and that using the heater can amplify this effect. Yet, the impact of hot weather is often overlooked. High temperatures can negatively affect an EV, leading to decreased range, accelerated wear and tear, and even early battery replacement. But don’t worry, there are strategies to ensure your EV runs efficiently through the summer’s heat. As CNBC points out, lithium-ion batteries operate optimally at around 70 degrees, much like humans. EVs start to lose power below 65 degrees, and this loss accelerates below 50 degrees. Conversely, temperatures above 86 degrees can also diminish vehicle power. This explains why EVs in the Upper Midwest and Southwest consume about 15% more power than those cruising along the California coast. Surprised that heat can impact your EV? By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your vehicle’s peak performance throughout the warmest months.

1. Prioritize Cooling Yourself, Not the Vehicle.

The quest for comfort can lead to significant power loss in EVs, with air conditioning and heating being the primary culprits. Advanced EVs offer pre-cooling and seat cooling features, but for vehicles without these, minimize AC use, crack open a window, and consider a small fan for personal cooling. Washing your car with cold water before trips and parking in shaded or indoor areas can also help keep it cool without sacrificing range.

2.Drive Smoothly and Calmly.

Abrupt driving habits, like fast acceleration followed by hard braking, not only strain any vehicle but are especially harmful to EVs, leading to increased wear and tear. To extend the life of your car, try to ease off on aggressive driving habits. This could mean avoiding a second coffee, waking up a bit earlier, or choosing a less congestive route, all in the effort to maintain a smooth and steady drive.

3.Opt for Slow Charging Overnight.

    Investing in a Level 2 home charger, such as the Blink HQ 100, allows you to charge your EV during off-peak hours, usually at night, which is more efficient and less taxing on the battery and the power grid. Charging under the hot sun or using Superchargers during peak daytime heat should be avoided to optimize battery health and charging efficiency.

    4.Keep Your EV Plugged In.

    Your EV’s battery benefits from its thermal management system when plugged in, maintaining an optimal temperature. Staying connected ensures the battery stays cool. However, practice considerate charging habits at public stations by unplugging once charged to avoid occupancy fees and make room for others.

    5.Be Strategic About Parking.

    While any spot may seem like a win in crowded places, aim for shaded areas or spots shielded by trees, buildings, or signs. Parking in direct sunlight can heat your car significantly, tempting you to crank up the AC, which drains your battery. Using sun-blocking windshield covers is another smart move to keep the interior cooler.

    6.Minimize Use of Accessories.

    Using numerous accessories can lead to unnecessary power consumption. Keep it minimal and focus on driving. Distractions like texting, excessive use of touchscreens, or loud music not only pose safety risks but also deplete your battery quicker. If you enjoy listening to the radio, do so at a moderate volume to conserve energy and maximize your EV’s range.

    7.Maintain a Moderate Charge Level.

    Just like with personal electronics, lithium batteries in EVs can degrade faster when consistently overcharged, a situation exacerbated by extreme temperatures. To optimize efficiency and longevity, aim to keep your vehicle’s charge below 85%, ideally within the 60-70% range. This practice helps maintain battery health and vehicle efficiency.

    8.Travel Light When Possible.

    While it’s understandable to carry equipment for activities like biking or kayaking, remember that extra weight and gear can increase drag, reducing battery efficiency. Lighten your load by removing unnecessary items from your car, and be selective about what you need for your journey. Adhering to these guidelines can enhance your EV’s summer performance, reducing the frequency of recharges.

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