In the post-pandemic world, we find ourselves in, owning an electric car is a luxury like no other. While global fossil fuel prices continue to reach an all-time time, electricity prices are relatively more stable.
However, despite the significantly lower running costs, not everyone wants to invest in an electric car. Most people doubt the capabilities of a battery-powered vehicle and cannot trust the car’s expected range.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to improve an electric car’s range in order to travel greater distances while keeping your range anxiety in control.
How to Improve an Electric Car’s Range
To a person who does not have a lot of car knowledge, an electric car may seem the same as a traditional gasoline-powered car.
This is because the basic blueprint that an electric car’s design is based on is the same as a traditional gasoline-powered car.
However, despite the obvious similarities, the internal mechanisms of both engines are completely different.
This is perhaps one of the reasons many people choose to stick to their traditional combustion engine cars as they feel uncomfortable getting used to an EV’s modern technology.
Moreover, apart from the newness of EV technology, many skeptics have doubts about an electric car’s range and its ability to travel long distances.
However, in reality, what these people do not know is that modern electric cars have nearly the same range as that of a combustion engine car.
Moreover, there are also multiple tips that one can follow to improve their electric car’s range in order to travel longer distances on a single charge.
Some of these tips and tricks that can help improve an electric car’s range are as follows:
- Reducing the total weight of the electric car when you drive it
- Driving an electric car with an optimally charged battery (ideally 20 to 80%)
- Practicing a proper battery charging routine
- Using the at-home charging system to charge the electric car
- Driving the electric car on high-quality tires
- Driving the electric car on flat and smooth surfaces
- Checking the weather before planning a trip
- Refraining from driving too fast or hitting the brake more than is needed
- Refraining from making too many short trips
- Delaying battery repairs
- Driving the electric car at high speeds for prolonged periods
- Regenerative braking system
In order to understand what an electric car’s range is and how you can improve it, it is important for you to first know how an electric car works.
Continue reading to learn how an electric car’s mechanism works, what the battery range of an electric car is, and how one can improve an electric car’s range.
Let’s get started!
How Does an Electric Car Work?
The electric car is one of the greatest inventions of the modern times that has managed to completely change the course of the global automobile industry.
Its eco-friendly mechanism, low running costs, and futuristic designs make it an instant consumer favorite as soon as a potential EV owner decides to give one a try.
Although the appearance of an electric car resembles a traditional gasoline-powered car, its internal mechanism is far more technologically advanced and modern.
Unlike a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle that comes with a combustion engine, an electric car comes with an electric engine – that much is obvious by the name.
While a traditional car works by burning fossil fuel to create kinetic energy, an electric car manages to produce energy to move the car without relying on a combustion reaction.
An electric car comes with a massive chemical battery and an electric motor that work together to produce energy.
The chemical battery is usually a lithium-ion battery that is responsible for storing the electric charge in the form of chemical energy.
This is how the two components work together to make the mechanism work:
- When a person presses the button or inserts the key to turn on an electric car, no ignition reaction takes place. Instead, the action causes the electric motor to turn on automatically.
- As soon as the driver begins to accelerate, the motor works by discharging the lithium-ion battery of its stored chemical energy to convert it into kinetic energy and heat.
- The newly produced kinetic energy is carried to the electric car’s tires via the energy transmitter. This allows the electric car to start moving and pick up speed.
- Any time the driver wants to increase the electric car’s speed, all they have to do is press the accelerator to trigger the motor to convert more chemical energy to kinetic energy at a faster rate.
Hence, as long as an electric car’s battery has reserves of stored chemical energy, the vehicle will remain mobile and will be able to accelerate.
Eventually, if the driver continues to drive the electric car despite the dropping battery range, the electric car will come to a halt and will require a recharge to continue moving.
However, what is an electric car’s battery range? Keep reading to find out!
What is an Electric Car’s, Battery Range?
By definition, the total distance an electric car can cover on a single battery charge is known as its range.
Electric cars with greater battery ranges are able to cover more distance without requiring a battery charge, while cars with lower battery ranges often need to make frequent stops to recharge the battery.
Moreover, the bigger and more powerful an electric car’s battery is, the more charge storing capacity it will have, and hence, the higher the range it will offer.
For instance, a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range electric sedan with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery will be able to offer a range of 260 miles, while a Tesla Model 3 Long Range sedan with a 75-kWh lithium-ion battery will be able to offer a range of 315 to 350 miles.
Although most electric car brands tend to market the range their electric vehicles offer, the exact number is usually only achievable in theory.
On the other hand, the actual range of an electric car keeps varying with the state of the electric car’s battery, and how and where the driver drives their electric car.
Let’s take a look at why the range of an electric car is so important.
Why Does an Electric Car’s, Range Matter?
Without sufficient traveling range, an electric car will not have any value despite its high price. Some of the reasons an electric car’s range matters are as follows:
- In general, most electric cars are significantly more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles. This is because the main contributor to its high price is the presence of the electric battery.
- The larger an electric car’s battery is, the more range it will be able to offer. As a result, the car will cost a lot more.
- Hence, if one fails to protect their electric car’s range, their vehicle’s value will drop.
- If an electric car’s range is too low, the driver will have to incur frequent battery charging costs.
- Apart from the high annual recharging costs, having to locate a public EV charging station to charge the battery during a trip can be a hassle, especially when one has to do it multiple times.
- If the battery’s range is too low, the driver might get stranded during their trip.
- Due to a poor battery range, the driver may suffer from constant range anxiety that will affect the quality of their trip.
- If the range of an electric car’s battery gets too low, the driver will have to get the battery repaired or replaced.
- Since battery repair and replacement costs can be very high, most people have no choice but to go back to traveling in their gasoline-powered vehicle.
Hence, it is safe to say that without a reliable battery range, an electric car will be nothing more than an expensive liability.
What Are the Top Tips to Improve an Electric Car’s Range?
Although the battery of an electric car is its most expensive and vital electrical component, it is also the most sensitive – especially when compared to the other electrical components in the car.
Hence, it is important that you protect your electric car’s battery from damage in order to keep its charge storing capacity and the range high.
The top tips to improve an electric car’s range are as follows:
Reducing the Total Weight of an Electric Car
In general, electric cars are heavier than traditional gasoline-powered cars. However, if you load excessive weight onto your car, its range will drop.
Allowing one or two more friends to ride with you in your car will not drastically increase its total weight; however, loading excessive luggage or a couple of heavy mountain bikes will.
If you choose to do that, the extra weight will put a lot of negative stress on your electric car’s battery. As a result, its cells will get damaged, and it will no longer be able to store the required amount of charge to keep its range up.
If this practice is repeated frequently or continued for a prolonged period, the capacity will drop enough to significantly lower the battery’s range.
Hence, in order to keep the electric car’s range high, refrain from loading excessively heavy weight onto your car.
Driving an Electric Car with an Optimally Charged Battery
If you want to protect your electric car’s range for a long time, you need to develop the habit of driving the car when its battery level is between 20 and 80%.
If you push your electric car to deliver performance and speed on a low battery charge, the growing stress will cause the battery’s capacity to drop permanently.
As a result, the battery will no longer be able to store high amounts of electric charge and will offer a compromised range.
Practicing a Proper Battery Charging Routine
Other than driving the electric car on a fully charged battery, how you charge the battery also matters. To improve the electric car’s range, you need to do the following:
- Always charge the electric car’s battery using the manufacturer-provided charger.
- This is important as third-party chargers can allow a harmful influx of electricity, which will permanently fry the battery’s cells.
- Refrain from letting the battery’s charging level drop below 20%.
- This tip is incredibly important as every time you recharge a fully depleted battery, some of its charge-storing capacity is permanently reduced.
- If this continues to happen, the lowered battery range will keep you from traveling too far.
- Try to use the at-home charging system as often as you can and only use the fast DC public chargers for emergencies.
- Never leave a discharged electric battery idle for too long. Even if you need to store it for a while, make sure that its charge level is between 20 and 80%.
Driving the Electric Car on High-Quality Tires
The tires of any automobile are incredibly important for its performance, speed, and range, as they are responsible for carrying the vehicle’s entire weight.
If you choose to drive your electric car or poorly inflated, punctured, worn-out, and old tires, the battery will be under a tremendous amount of stress, which will affect its performance.
As a result, its capacity will be reduced and the range will drop.
Hence, always check the air pressure of your electric car’s tires every time you need to leave – whether it’s a long trip or just to run errands. Moreover, replace the tires as soon as they seem to be worn out and damaged.
Driving the Electric Car on Flatter and Smoother Surfaces
Whether you have an electric vehicle or a combustion engine car, driving up the hill will always lead to a faster battery charge or fossil fuel depletion.
However, any time an electric car drives down an inclined surface, its unique regenerative braking system allows some of the produced energy to charge the battery.
This technologically advanced feature makes an electric car more energy efficient and superior to a traditional combustion engine car.
This is how it works:
- As the electric car is driving down a slope, the driver will have to press the brakes more frequently.
- As the brakes get pressed, kinetic energy is produced, which gets captured by the regenerative braking system, which converts this “waste energy” back into chemical energy for the battery.
- Eventually, the energy goes back into the electric car’s lithium-ion battery, giving it a slight boost in charge.
Hence, you do not have to worry about losing too much battery range when your journey consists of uneven roads.
However, if you do have the option to travel on an alternate flatter surface, preferring that route will keep your battery range high.
Refraining from Driving too Fast or at Varying Acceleration
Every time you press the accelerator to cause your electric car to pick up speed, it takes up more energy from the battery and causes it to deplete faster.
Hence, try to drive your electric car at a stable acceleration and refrain from speeding unnecessarily.
Delaying Battery Repairs
It is common for an electric car’s battery to lose capacity and show signs of some internal damage.
However, if you choose to ignore these signs and delay repairs, you will eventually have to either settle for a low battery range or will have to pay the high price for a battery replacement.
Hence, try to get your battery repaired as soon as you notice a drop in the average range.
Important Points to Remember
Although an electric car’s range gets negatively affected when the EV is accelerated, driven continuously at high speeds, loaded with heavy weights, etc., it is incredibly important to remember that the same will happen when one drives an internal combustion car.
Any time an internal combustion car will be accelerated, driven on arduous terrains, or made to carry heavy weights; its fossil fuel consumption will drastically go up.
However, since an electric car comes with a unique regenerative braking system, and allows the consumer a fantastic opportunity to play their part by reducing their carbon footprint, one should always prefer an EV over an ICE car.
Owning an electric car can be a fantastic luxury, as long as the car is able to offer sufficient range. Since the electric car’s battery is the heart of the entire vehicle, any damage to the battery will directly affect the car’s range.
Moreover, if the battery is exposed to situations that damage it or stress it out, its charge storing capacity and range will be compromised permanently.
Hence, if you wish to travel long distances on a single battery charge, it is incredibly important that you focus on protecting the electric car’s battery from damage and stress, to keep the range and capacity high.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.