Your EV Range Anxieties Answered

Thu 18th May 2023

If you are considering purchasing an EV this summer but are still anxious about the potential range issues, a new report has revealed which common driving actions can drain your battery.

While range anxiety should theoretically be a thing of the past due to the extended driving distances of EVs and wider charging networks, some are concerned about being stranded without any power.

Sustainable energy experts Gridserve are aiming to educate the public by publishing a list of things which you might want to consider turning off if you are low on juice.

Of course, driving the actual car is the biggest drain on our car’s battery, but unfortunately that’s unavoidable if you want to get from A to B.

Gridserve list Climate Control as the biggest negative impact, with air-conditioning taking 7 miles of range per hour, while heating the car takes 5 miles of range per hour. In fact anything which adds or reduces heat in your car uses up quite a lot power.

Other actions are barely worth worrying about, so those flashy infotainment systems and booming speakers may seem like a real energy sapper, the reality is that they only cost you about 0.4 miles per hour of driving.

The technology behind EVs these days is so impressive that regenerative braking means that in some cases, stopping your car will add another 20 per cent on the range. However, you also have to consider that driving faster will use more energy, for example travelling at 60mph uses 13% less energy than driving at 70mph.

Unfortunately there are some things which we cannot control on energy use, and again it is weather related. The Gridserve report reveals that cold or hot weather will impact the range of your EV.

“If it’s freezing cold then your battery may show reduced range (that’s because the battery chemistry is a bit sluggish in extreme cold and your car needs to use energy to heat the battery up),” report said. “If it’s an absolute scorcher, your car will need to use some energy to keep the battery cool, too.

“For those cold days, make sure you take advantage of pre-conditioning and consider selecting a heat pump as an option on any new vehicle. Ahead of you leaving the house, it’ll bring the cabin up to temperature, defrost and demist your windows and warm your battery so it’s operating at its peak.

“Not only does it make it nice and toasty for you but if you do this while the car is plugged in at home, you won’t have to use your battery to heat the car when you set off. Great for maximising range – especially as heat pumps can be 10% more efficient than a traditional heater.”