With summer around the corner, EV drivers across America will soon be taking to the roads in droves to head out on warm weather road trips. Taking a road trip in an electric car can be a much superior experience to a gas car—if you know what steps to take. Whether it’s a day trip out to a scenic location or a full on cross-country trek, here are a few tips and tricks for your EV road trip.
Here’s a simple tip: check your tire pressure before you head out on your trip. An easy way to eek out a little bit more range is to slightly over-inflate your EV’s tires, so if the recommended PSI is 35, bump it up a little bit to 38 or 39. Keep in mind that, as you drive, your PSI will increase as the air in your tires heats up and expands; driving in hot weather will also increase your PSI.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast
We all want to get to our destinations as fast as possible, but speeding in an EV is not the way. For one, going over the speed limit is dangerous and illegal; moreover, going faster can actually slow down your whole trip, since your EV needs exponentially more energy to sustain a higher speed. So while all that instant torque and EV power might make it tempting to put the pedal to the metal and fly down the highway at 85+ miles per hour, stick to the speed limit instead. You’ll get the highest range possible and will be able to charge less often. Remember, charging can take a little bit of time, so sprinting between charging stations can actually take longer than cruising along at the speed limit.
Charge up! Just not all the way
When you do hit a charging station, be strategic about your charging. The bottom part of an electric car’s battery charges faster than the top part, so there’s not much point in charging past 80% if you can comfortably make it to the next charger. Getting that extra 20% might be tempting, but it will take much longer to top off your battery, extending your trip time unnecessarily. It’s best to keep your battery within the 30% to 80% range when on a long trip. The battery charges most efficiently between these two numbers, and any charging above (or below) is less efficient. For optimal results, try to take this into consideration when planning your route.
Photo Credit: John Gotsch