4 useful ways to conquer range anxiety with electric cars and vans
Electric vehicles have a variety of well-documented benefits, which is one of the reasons why we’ve recently started offering a variety of electric vehicle hire options here at Intack Self Drive. Now, obviously one of the major concerns surrounding electric vehicles as a whole right now is focused on their range. Often, the average fully-charged EV battery can’t match the sheer distance that lots of ICE (internal combustion engines) are capable of achieving in a single day.
That means that “range anxiety” is one of the main concerns for anyone looking to hire an EV, too. If that’s something that you’re mulling over at the moment, we’ve got some handy advice to help you conquer the worst of it here at Intack Self Drive!
Plan the most efficient journey
It’s easy to leave this to satnavs but that might be risky on the day – even Google maps can get it wrong sometimes. So it can be helpful to know all the key chokepoints where your journey might go a little bit wrong, and whether there are any useful or reliable detours that you can take. Crucially, while you’re mapping out your journey, it can be helpful to know where the nearest public charging stations are, so that you can get a little bit more juice into the vehicle if you think you’re in danger of running low. And of course, leave plenty of time – general wisdom says you should try and keep the battery at between 80% and 20% charge. If you run it down any further than that, you could be risking putting yourself into a tricky position.
Driving carefully is a necessity at the best of times, but it’s particularly important when driving an EV, as it can make a decisive impact on the vehicle’s range. Driving at excessively high speeds and braking harshly can both increase the load on the battery, potentially shortening the car’s range. You may even find (somewhat counterintuitively) that taking slower back roads may end up making a tangible difference to the car’s range, and ultimately get you there reliably faster than you would if you spent the entire journey simply bombing it down the motorway.
Stay wary of the weather
It’s no secret that most cars tend to perform slightly more poorly in cold weather; the chill puts more strain on the battery for starters, so it requires more energy both to start up and to keep running smoothly. The same is true for EVs, and the effect can be more pronounced – in freezing temperatures, you may even notice a range reduction, so it’s a good idea to plan your journey accordingly. Make sure you know what detours and pitstops you can make, and where the nearest charge station is at all points on your journey – just in case it looks like things are about to go pear shaped.
It’s also a good idea to try and pre-condition your EV on the day, if it looks to be particularly chilly outside. Running the motor for a short period can ensure that the battery and EV as a whole are both running efficiently.
Plan the most efficient journey
Many modern EVs have a variety of options that enable you to fine-tune their performance according to your driving style, and the demands of the situation. Some of these modes are capable of lengthening the car’s range, whereas others can shorten it in favour of a few creature comforts. While the latter may be perfectly acceptable for short journeys, if you’re making a long one then you’ll want to consider what features you may be able to do without, so you can have more peace of mind about the battery.
If you’re able to, it’s smart to try and get a handle on what eco-friendly modes your chosen EV offers. If it has heated seats or steering wheels for example, these can be useful in directly warming the driver and passengers, saving on the energy that would normally be required to power the intensive heating fans – and helping you go further as a result.
Those are just a couple of our top tips – you may well be able to think of your own! We’ve recently released our own range of electric vehicles here at Intack Self Drive, so you’ve got more eco-friendly options than ever if you want to hire a car or hire a van, no matter how far you’re going. And of course, if you have any questions or need any advice, you can always check out our FAQs, or talk to a member of our hire team. We’re always happy to help!