Kelley Blue Book: Tips for boosting electric vehicle range, especially in hot weather

Hot weather can greatly impact EV range. Here are six tips to follow to make sure you get the most out of your EV when the mercury rises.

1. Avoid parking in the sun

Your EV has a thermal management system that works hard to keep the vehicle cool. If you leave the car parked under the open skies, the direct heat from the sun will make it harder for this system to do its job. This will ultimately deplete the car’s battery. Park under a tree or in a garage.

2. Go easy on the air conditioning

In this era of climate change, summer weather can be pretty unbearable, and air conditioning is a must when you’re behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean you have to crank the AC up until your car’s cabin feels like Santa’s freezer. Running the air conditioning at full blast will quickly reduce your car’s driving range. Use the AC, but take a moderate approach when setting the temperature.

Also see: The pros and cons of electric cars

3. Easing up on the throttle means more EV range

With a gas-powered car, taking a lead-footed approach to throttle management will do you no favors when it comes to fuel economy. With an EV, this kind of driving will have a negative effect on your car’s range. Avoid aggressive acceleration. And keep an eye on the speedometer. Traveling at a moderate speed will take less of a toll on the battery than racing down the highway at a breakneck pace. Adopting a patient, easygoing driving style will help you optimize the distance your car is able to travel between charges when the mercury rises.

See: How much does it cost to charge an electric car? We do the math

4. Lighten your load to extend EV range

A heavy payload can reduce a gas-powered car’s fuel economy. Similarly, too much baggage can tax your EV’s battery and diminish driving range. Check the trunk or cargo area to make sure you’re not lugging around gear that isn’t necessary for your journey. If you’re not going surfing, leave the surfboard at home. Every little bit counts, and lightening the car’s load by even a couple of pounds can reap benefits.

Check out: Which electric SUVs have the most cargo space? Here’s a full list

5. Avoid a full charge

Yes, I know there’s a sense of satisfying completion that comes with giving your EV a full charge. But it’s not advisable in hot weather. As the battery’s charge increases, its internal resistance rises. This resistance can raise the battery’s heat, which will put even more of a strain on the unit in warm weather. Aim for an 80% charge. This is the best path to take in summer weather for promoting battery health and optimizing range.

6. Turn down the stereo to add EV range

The right soundtrack can help enhance a summer drive, but it’s important to remember that your EV’s stereo is powered by its battery. That means that if you have the radio cranked at full volume, you’ll pay a price when it comes to the car’s driving range. Maximize the distance you’re able to travel between charges by keeping the stereo’s volume at a moderate level. And if you’re running low on juice and want to extend your car’s range, bite the bullet and turn the stereo off.

Final thoughts

When EVs were first introduced, the average driving range topped out at about 80 miles. Things have changed a lot in just a few years, and these days, there are quite a few EVs on the market that can travel for more than 200 miles between charges. Regardless of how much range much your EV has, the tips listed above will help you make the most of it when the temperature climbs.

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