With the thermometer set to rise again for the second half of August, many UK families are pushing their summer escapes back to get the last of the summer sun and take advantage of the Bank Holiday.
If you are one of the thousands of families who have made the change to an EV in the last year, this may well be the first long journey you have made in your car. To make the most of your well-earned holiday, here are Tusker’s top tips for getting the most from your EV this summer.
The weather is on your side (for once)
While cold weather is known for reducing an EV’s range, the good news is that hotter temperatures do not have the same effect. Typical UK summer temperatures are ideal for EVs as they can work at their maximum efficiency and even in extreme heat battery range is only likely to reduce by as little as 1%.
Plan your route
Amid the excitement of packing for your holiday, the actual journey planning can often be overlooked. The route you take can have an impact on the range of your car so why not mix up your motorway miles with A and B-roads to minimise your car’s energy use and maximise your driving pleasure. Taking five minutes to plan your journey in advance can have a huge impact, and with online route planning services now have settings which allow you to choose routes based on your preferences, planning your journey has never been easier.
Keep current on your charging points
There are some brilliant independent apps available which can not only help you plan your route, but also give you live feedback on the status of your intended charging points. With Zap Map, you can not only see the exact specifications of the charger you are hoping to use, but if they are in use, meaning there are no unexpected hold-ups through chargers being busy. Plugging your car into a supermarket charging point for half an hour while you do the holiday shopping is a great use of time.
Don’t worry about the jams
While a summertime holiday traffic jam may be inevitable, it doesn’t have to cause you any your EV any worries. An independent test carried out by Which magazine proved that even with maximum air conditioning running and all available devices in use, a 1.5 hour simulated traffic jam only decreased a vehicle’s range by 8 miles. So, if you do run into a spot of traffic, sit back, relax and chill out.
Lunch with a charge
Making EV charging stops an integral part of your holiday journey makes sense. If motorway service stations can feel a bit frantic, then why not consider planning a lunch at a local hotel with charging points instead? The National Trust publishes a list of all of their properties with EV charging facilities, as do many garden centres, tourist attractions and hotels, so you can break your trip up with interesting things to do, while giving the car an energy boost at the same time.
Driving styles can give you miles
One of the main attractions to driving an EV is the smoothness of the electric power delivery. If you keep your driving style smooth you will also maximise your range. Many of the latest EVs now have regenerative braking like those on Formula 1 cars, which pumps extra power into the battery. You can also avoid wasting energy on braking in all but the most urgent of cases, simply by lifting off the accelerator.
Pre-cool before you move
Not only is the ability to pre-cool your EV’s interior via your smart phone a great party trick, but it will also help your journey get off to a pleasant start. Hopping into a sun-baked car is never pleasant while driving with the windows down is a quick way to destroy your family’s sanity. Instead, let the car pre-chill itself while your car is still on charge on your drive.
It’s easy to overlook tyres when it comes to maximising the range of any car including your EV. Keeping your tyres correctly inflated to the recommended pressures is crucial. Replacement tyres are included in every Tusker salary sacrifice plan and we encourage drivers to fit the manufacturers recommended brand in the event of a puncture.
EV manufacturers specify a brand and model of low-resistance tyres for individual vehicles, based on usage, safety and with optimising range in mind. The bottom line is that with EVs, if you need to change a tyre, not any old tyre will do!
Towing the line
With huge torque and progressive power delivery, EVs make for ideal towing cars however, it’s worth checking that your EV can tow your trailer or caravan before you order your car. And if you are just about to take delivery of a new EV don’t assume you can fit a towbar. Some EVs do not have a towbar installation point while others only have a small towing capacity due to the weight of the car. Always check your EV’s capability first and if you are unsure get in touch with our experienced customer service team!
The Tesla Model X, Audi E Tron and the Mercedes EQC all excel in the field of towing, while Kia’s new EV6 dedicates a whole page on its website to using the car for towing.
Don’t forget the plug!
Don’t forget that holidays are for relaxing, so your car can be parked up on a camp site or hotel for longer periods than normal. Why not use this dead time to charge your EV? A conventional 3-pin plug power source can work well for overnight top-ups and for re-charging over longer periods. And don’t forget to pack the plug. Bon voyage!