September 27, 2021

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How to consume less with an electric car?

Responsible driving expands the electric vehicle’s reach, but also reduces the energy bill slightly. Automobile Propre gives you advice on how to efficiently improve consumption by taking advantage of the unique benefits of electrical technology.

Choose the right vehicle

Many motorists buy heavy, powerful and bulky vehicles, while using only a fraction of their capacity.

Is it reasonable to have a large 300 hp SUV to pick up your children from school, do their shopping or travel several tens of kilometers between their workplace and their home? Ask yourself if you are looking to move rudely and feel free to compare models. You will see that some vehicles are particularly economical, such as the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kona or the Dacia Spring (excluding the highways). Cars are designed for less consumption in cities, on small roads … and, for some, even on the highways.

Choose appropriate rims and tires

Tire and tire selection is essential in the pursuit of sobriety. They are the only interface between the car and the road and generate more or less friction. Most electric cars come with a variety of rims. You may be attracted to models with large diagonals, which give the appearance of a sports car. But aside from aesthetics, these oversized bezels are pretty useless. Worse still, it increases friction and thus increases consumption and maintenance costs. The range loss is a few tens of kilometers on the same vehicle. Example: The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was equipped with its large battery (73 kWh), and was given 481 km of autonomy WLTP with 19-inch wheels as opposed to just 451 km in 20 inches.

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To reduce rolling resistance, you must also choose suitable tires. There is a wide range of “economy” tires, and some are specifically designed for electric cars, such as Michelin Energy EV, Bridgestone Ecopia EP500 and Continental eContact. Be careful, however: These models are primarily designed to reduce fuel consumption, and therefore do not have the same grip on the asphalt as conventional tires. There is no doubt about sporty driving with a “green” tire.

In an electric vehicle, tire size affects fuel consumption and range

Practice green driving

You are the only captain in your vehicle. Therefore, autonomy is directly related to your driving behavior. You already know it: the more stressed you are with the metronome, the more you consume. Stay calm and do not hesitate to use the “Economy” mode available on most vehicles. It is usually activated via a button on the control unit and slightly restricts the engine’s power. It is ideal for day trips in the city and in the countryside.

Adopt the green driving reflexes, and drive with calm and anticipation. Look away ahead: don’t hurry if the light is red in front. Release the accelerator pedal and let the car reach the stopping point, this is especially useful for electric vehicles.

Use regenerative braking

Battery-powered vehicles have a huge advantage over thermal models: they can generate electricity when braking and decelerating. This is called “regenerative braking” or “mode B”. Its operation is very simple: when the electric motor is not required but continues to operate “in vacuum”, it turns into a generator that recharges the battery.

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Without having to do anything, the car saves energy and increases its range. You can improve this gain by practicing environmentally friendly driving and, in some vehicles, by adjusting braking intensity. Additionally, by braking through the engine instead of pads, Mode B significantly reduces wear, particulate emissions and maintenance costs.

Be careful, however, regenerative braking shouldn’t encourage the car to brake too much. Use it smart, because it becomes useless if you have to hurry a little harder to restart after a lot of braking.

On some electric cars, regenerative brakes are adjusted via the paddles on the steering wheel.

Heating and air conditioning management

There is nothing you can do about it, but it really is a factor affecting electric vehicle consumption: the weather. In cold weather, you will use the heater normally. This device consumes more or less depending on the model. Cars equipped with a heat pump are the most economical. They can heat or cool the passenger compartment with low energy consumption. On the contrary, conventional resistance heaters consume more energy. Fewer cars were equipped with it, and manufacturers now prefer the heat pump.

If your car has heated seats and steering wheels, use them and reduce airflow. This will be consumed less by conducting heat closer to the body. In summer, air conditioning also affects, without reaching heating values ​​as well. During heat waves, the battery must be specially cooled. For this, it consumes very little electricity to run its cooling system. The thermostat can also be activated in winter if the weather is extremely cold, to keep the packaging in the optimum temperature range.

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Feel free to use the remote HVAC system. It is activated using the manufacturer’s smartphone app and can heat or cool the passenger compartment when the vehicle is plugged in. Thus, you do not draw power from the battery and your car is ready to operate with a comfortable temperature and maximum range.

Now you know all the tips to become an expert in saving energy in an electric car. Get started! It’s really satisfying to get over your sobriety records, even if it’s not very exciting at first.