What is the best way to extend the range of an electric car?

Environmentally friendly, economical, and suitable for urban and suburban driving, it's clear why electric vehicles are increasingly popular. The only constraint is driving range. While waiting for technological innovations that will enable them to cover as many kilometres as vehicles with combustion engine vehicles, Michelin offers plenty of tips to optimise the range of an electric car.
What is the best way to extend the range of an electric car?
©Ziga Plahutar/iStock

What is the average range of a battery?

It all depends on the model and the year it was released. Older vehicles have a range of 150 kilometres at best, while more recent ones can travel up to 450 kilometres between two charges.

How can I increase my range in an electric vehicle?

1. Adopt a flexible driving style

Eco-driving allows you to save a significant amount of energy in an electric car. By reducing braking, sudden acceleration and driving at high speeds, it is possible to gain a substantial mileage increase. It is especially true in cold weather. In addition, many modern vehicles now come with an “eco” driving mode, which can increase the range by up to 10%.

Finally, regularly checking tyres for correct air pressure will make driving more economical — and safer!

Tip: electric cars can recharge while decelerating; by lifting your foot off the accelerator instead of braking, you can optimise the range of your vehicle.

2. Don’t overuse the heating or air conditioning unit

Comfort equipment is incredibly energy-intensive and should be carefully used to avoid rapidly discharging your battery. Excessive use of these features can reduce the range by 10-15%!

Tip: turn the heating or air conditioning on while the vehicle is plugged in and charging.

3. Do not overload the vehicle

An electric car will consume more energy when it is carrying a lot of weight. So trailers, bike racks and roof boxes should be avoided when possible.

4. Charge the battery at the right time

Modern electric vehicles run batteries that don’t like to be charged too soon (above 80%) or too late (below 20%). Charging the battery at the right time will also extend its life.

5. Preheat batteries in cold weather

It is important to give your car a brief warm-up period before starting it. Some manufacturers, such as Tesla, have an integrated warm-up mode. The new ZOE also has a function for pre-conditioning, which is accessible from any smartphone.

What solutions are being developed by manufacturers to improve the range of electric cars?

Many technological innovations are already under development. For example, BMW announced that it will double its range of electric vehicles by 2025.

In the meantime, prototypes exist, but they still need improvements. Some manufacturers even develop range extenders that allow vehicles to travel up to 600 kilometres between charges. However, most must be carried on a trailer because they are still too bulky to integrate into the cars.

Many car manufacturers are working on inductive charging, which will allow batteries to charge while driving, and simple contact is all that’s required. However, this technology is still in the infancy stage.

Another solution for doubling the range of an electric vehicle is to invest in a spare battery that you can carry with you! It’s an expensive but practical option to use in the meantime, pending the technological progress promises made by manufacturers.

Range capacity is currently the primary area of improvement needed for green vehicles. So manufacturers are certainly continuing their competition against one another to make more and more efficient cars in this respect!