Electric Cars

Tips for Driving an EV in Summer

Car Charging

Tusker’s top ten tips for driving an EV in summer

With British summer time and school holidays fast approaching, the temperatures across the country are soaring. Many UK families are planning their summer escapes back to get away and enjoy the summer sun and take a well-earned break.

If you are one of the thousands of families which made the change to an Electric Vehicle from an petrol or diesel vehicle in the last year, it’s possible that this could be the first long journey that you are planning to make in your electric car. To guarantee the most enjoyable and stress-free experience while on your well-earned holiday, Tusker has put together its top tips for getting the most from your EV this summer.


1.The weather is on your side

It’s well known that colder weather can reduce the battery range in an EV.  The good news is that hotter temperatures have no effect on battery performance. In fact, the typical UK summer temperatures are ideal for EVs, as batteries are most efficient in our summer temperature ranges. Even if there is an extreme heatwave, it won’t dent your usable range, as extreme heat is only likely to reduce your batteries performance by around 1% – in other words, it wouldn’t be a drop you would ever notice on the road.


2. Plan your route

With all of the thought that you put into packing for a holiday, many of us end up overlooking the actual journey planning around how to get to our destination. The route you take can have a big impact on the range of your car, so why not change it up a bit and swap up your long motorway miles with A and B-roads too. It’s an easy way to minimise your car’s energy use, while maximising the enjoyment of the journey itself. Taking a few minutes to plan your journey ahead of time can really pay off, and with online route planning services such as Zap-Map which have settings allowing you to choose routes based on your road preferences, so planning your journey could not be easier.

Plan your journey with Zap Map


3. Keep current on your charging points

There are some brilliant independent apps available which not only help you plan your route, but also give you live feedback on the status of your intended charging points. With Zap Map a partner of Tusker’s, you can not only see the exact specifications of the charger you want to use, but also if the charger is in use. This means that the chances of an unexpected hold-up through busy chargers is minimised. Another top tip for keeping your car in a good state of charge is to plug your car into a supermarket charging point for half an hour while you do the holiday shopping – this keeps wasted time to a minimum, giving your more time to relax with the family.


4. Don’t worry about the holiday traffic jams

Sadly, we all know a summertime holiday traffic jam is almost inevitable, but luckily, it doesn’t have to cause you any your EV any worries. An independent test carried out by Which? magazine showed that even with the air conditioning running at full blast, and every single available device in the car in use, a 1.5 hour simulated traffic jam only took 8 miles from the car’s total range. So, if you do run into a spot of traffic, don’t sweat it, you can just sit back, relax and chill out.


5. Lunch with a view, and a charge too

Combining EV charging stops with pleasurable activities as an integral part of your holiday plan, makes sense. If motorway service stations can feel a bit frantic and all feel very similar to each other, then why not consider planning a lunch at a local hotel with charging points instead? The National Trust very helpfully publishes a list of all of their properties which have EV charging facilities, as do many garden centres, tourist attractions and hotels, so why not break your trip up with interesting things to do and see, while giving the car an energy boost at the same time.

Guide to driving electric



6. Driving styles can give you more miles

The smoothness of the electric power delivery is one of the most enjoyable factors in driving an EV. If you keep your driving style smooth to match this, you will also maximise your range. Most new EVs have regenerative braking systems, which uses the motors like small generators to put extra power into the battery, while slowing the car down. With regenerative braking, you can avoid wasting energy on braking in all but the most urgent of cases, simply by lifting off the accelerator to bring your car to a stop.


7. Pre-cool before you turn a wheel

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 really pleasant start. Hopping into a sun-baked and roasting car is never fun, and driving at speed with your windows down is a quick way to destroy your and family’s sanity. Instead, pre-chill itself while your car is still on charge means that you will get into a charged car, which is already at your perfect temperature.


8. Let’s Talk Tyres

When it comes to maximising the range of any car including your EV, it’s easy to forget how much of a difference your tyres can make. Keeping your tyres correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures is crucial to maximising your range. Luckily, replacement tyres are included in every Tusker salary sacrifice scheme and we encourage our 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 each individual vehicle, based on usage, safety and with optimised range in mind, so it makes sense to stick with whatever brand and model of tyre was designed for the car. The bottom line is that with EVs, if you need to change a tyre, not any old tyre will do!


9. Towing the line

EVs make for ideal towing cars, thanks to their great torque and progressive power delivery. However, it’s important to check that your chosen 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 automatically 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 towing capability first, and if you are unsure about your specific car, get in touch with our experienced customer service team!

The Tesla Model X, Audi E Tron and the Mercedes EQC are all great for towing, while Kia’s new EV6 dedicates a whole page on its website to using the car for towing.


10. Don’t forget the plug!

Remember, holidays are all about relaxing, so your car can be parked up on a camp site or at your hotel for much longer periods than normal. It’s a great idea to 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, but don’t forget to pack the plug. If you are going abroad for your holiday, then an adapter for the local power supply may also be needed, but you can get these at lots of service stations if you need one. Bon voyage!


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