How to look after your EV battery
Although they are relatively new to our roads, electric vehicles (EVs) are in some ways simpler machines than conventional petrol or diesel cars.
This has obvious benefits, such as the reduced running costs and environmental impact, and it’s likely to have a big impact when it comes to maintenance costs too.
Research has shown that electric cars can be around 70% cheaper to maintain than petrol or diesel cars.
Simply put, there are fewer parts to look after. A car with an internal combustion engine has a lot more moving parts than an EV. Exhausts, starter motors, spark plugs, cooling systems, oil and fuel pumps, are just a few of the parts not found in a battery-powered electric vehicle.
EVs only have three major components: the electric motor, the charger and the inverter. They require little maintenance and have proven to be robust. In addition, EVs tend to have longer brake and tyre life because they use regenerative braking to extract energy from the brakes, reusing this energy to help drive the wheels.
So, what should you be doing to keep your EV in top condition? Regular servicing and MOTs are still essential to ensure the car remains road legal and that all parts are in good working condition, but there are things to consider in order to maintain the car’s battery, ensuring it has a high operational level.
Battery saving tips
Watch your speed – The faster you go, the quicker your battery will drain. Pay attention to speed limits and consider taking a route home with a lower speed limit if your battery is running low. You could reach your destination without having to stop for a charge, and save time as a result.
Consider which comfort features you use – As with any vehicle on the road today, EVs come packed with a host of features that make it a comfortable place to be for the occupants. However, some of these features, such as heating and air conditioning, can add up to 10% onto the drawn down time of an EVs battery. This is because a traditional car uses waste heat from the engine to operate the heating system, whereas an EV has to use battery power to generate this heat. Consider turning down the heating or air conditioning level to save battery where possible.
Conserve momentum – Reading the road and watching what vehicles ahead are doing could drastically improve battery life by allowing for a reduction in braking and acceleration. Harsh acceleration has less of an impact in an alternatively powered car, but it still incurs a penalty. If you can avoid using the foot brake, when safe to do so, until below 10mph, you will see the maximum benefits.
Use your vehicle’s eco features – Some EVs come loaded with a range of clever features that allow the car’s energy saving features to be boosted even further. For example, some EVs come with an ‘eco’ mode which can limit the amount of energy used when pressing the accelerator. This may limit the vehicle’s acceleration, but it can extend its battery life which could prove a boost on long journeys.