What Reduces the Range on Your Electric Vehicle?
A question that a lot of individuals are asking across social media is what reduces the range of an electric car?
There would be nothing worse than driving home, heating ramped up, heated seats on, full exterior lights on, phone charging and radio on and you can’t figure out why the mileage is reducing so quickly, making the home seem further and further away. So, to help with the confusion, here are the main features that reduce your electric car’s mile range.
Heating and Air Conditioning:
Heating and Air Conditioning are two of the biggest features that drain the battery of your electric car. Heating will reduce the range by around 17% when you have it on full blast. Air conditioning drains the battery about 11% faster than when it’s not being used. To resolve this issue most electric cars can be pre-heated while charging before you walk out the door. This eliminates the need to have it on full power when driving.
Heated Seats and Windscreen:
Everyone loves a heated seat when driving and a heated windscreen when it’s icy, it’s so much easier than using an ice scraper! However, using these features causes a reduction in range by about 15% or more. The demister that clears the windscreen when it’s fogged up is also not any kinder to the battery using about 12% of it.
Exterior and Interior Lighting and Driver Assist:
Lighting and driver assist features will have a role to play in decreasing the battery range but on the positive side, it doesn’t use enough to make a huge difference. An entire exterior lighting system typically uses only 48.8Wh which converts to 0.0488kWh, not enough to affect the range!
Infotainment System, Audio and USB Charging Ports:
Infotainment systems have increased in size since the electric vehicle designs have developed. The most modern systems span most of the car's width. The bigger the infotainment system the more power they need to function. Some electric vehicle models offer screens in the back of the car where passengers can watch videos to stay entertained on long journeys. Using these screens takes up around 2 per cent of battery capacity. If you were charging a phone or tablet that is completely flat, it would pull less than 2% charge out of your vehicle.
Aerodynamics Drag and Speed:
Aerodynamic drag at a motorway speed, of 70mph, causes a large energy loss. An estimated 9.5kW is required to overcome drag. You also need to take into consideration the tyre friction, efficiency of the inverter and motor, onboard computers, roughly a total of 11kW to cruise at 70mph. If you reduce your speed by only 2mph, 68mph, the power usage taken up by drag would decrease to 8.7kW.
Weight of the Vehicle:
Adding passengers and luggage can affect consumption. However, the added weight is a positive towards regenerative braking. It can help regain lost energy because the increased mass and momentum of the vehicle boosts the amount of energy recovered, which goes back into the battery when coasting and braking.
Many may think that tyres aren’t a factor that affects the energy range. However, they contribute to energy efficiency more than you think. Having specialised low rolling resistance tyres compared to high-performance tyres creates a difference of 53 miles in a 200-mile range. Stickier tyres can make your electric vehicle handle grip a lot better however, it comes at the expense of a reduction in the mile range.
Most of the features won’t affect your electric car's range. If you monitor the heating and air conditioning by preheating, you will get the maximum out of your EV battery.
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