TOP TIPS FOR EVS IN WARMER WEATHER
With the warmer weather upon us, it’s important to take some precautions for your electric car as well as for yourself. Here are some of our top tips!
Let’s start with the fundamentals, your battery and tyres.
Any tyres can be affected by high temperatures, but electric cars tend to be heavier than your typical diesel/petrol equivalent, which places more stress on the tyres and can cause more problems in this area.
Checking your tyres periodically and especially before a long journey is always recommended. Incorrect tyre pressure reduces the range that your car is capable of and can cause unnecessary wear to the tyres. Eventually, this could affect the handling of your vehicle. Monitoring your tyres and keeping them in pristine condition will help your electric car cope in these high temperatures.
As the beating heart of your electric car, maintaining its battery could not be more essential. Electric cars’ lithium batteries work most effectively between 20-25°c, and extreme temperatures can both reduce range and even cause damage to the battery. If the weather causes a battery to overheat, the charging speed could decrease, or charging could stop altogether as a safety precaution. Thankfully, general warmer weather is actually a positive for electric vehicle charging as charging times tend to be reduced.
To ensure you don’t end up with a battery that has overheated, wherever possible, move your car into a parking spot in the shade. This will prevent your car losing charge, which can happen when they are left in the sun for too long. Charging overnight, or in the early morning and late evening when it is cooler would also be preferable.
If you do have the choice, avoiding driving during the hottest part of the day may be a better option. Driving at a cooler time of day, generally outside of 12pm and 3pm, can help prevent any damage to your car’s battery.
Once you begin your journey, you’ll likely be driving in the full glare of the sun. Keeping cool will be important, which is where your EV’s effective air conditioning can be used, however, be aware that this can reduce your car’s range. To prevent this, most electric cars now have the option to precondition your car, meaning you can use your air conditioning before setting off to avoid draining the battery whilst on the road.
Another useful tip, which is especially relevant in the warm weather, is to only charge your electric car to 80%. This will prolong battery life and prevent overheating and subsequent cell degradation, which is where lithium battery cells lose their ability to charge at their original rate.
Making use of your electric car’s features will help you maintain your range during a heatwave. Many cars now offer an ‘Eco’ mode, which effectively dampens the acceleration and saves you miles of charge. Many EVs also have regenerative braking systems – whereby the car recycles power back into the battery. Some even allow you to choose the strength of the regen. The stronger the level you choose, the quicker the vehicle will slow down as you take your foot off the accelerator, and the more miles you will save.
Follow these tips through the scorching summer months to maintain battery health, range and safety levels to let you enjoy your time in the sun safely!