Regardless of the type of vehicle, our driving behaviour has a significant influence on our vehicle’s range. After ignoring the consequences of our energy consumption behind the wheel for a long time, the economic and environmental context is now forcing us to rethink our habits in order to save this precious energy. Let’s have a look at the main principles of eco-driving in an electric car.
Adopt a flexible driving style
We often don’t even realize it, but our emotions impact our actions on a daily basis. Our driving behaviour is no exception. Upset, anxious before an appointment or excited to get home, many events considerably influence our driving. For many, pressing down the accelerator pedal becomes a way to release these emotions.
The thing is that nervous driving actually increases stress as well as energy consumption. On top of that, the time saved is often minimal. As a result, money and energy resources are wasted for nothing.
Eco-driving is all about relaxing and taking your foot off the accelerator. If you approach a red light, stop sign or traffic jam, there’s no need to accelerate to brake suddenly when you arrive. These accelerations may last a few seconds, but they require a lot of energy and end up causing fuel consumption to skyrocket.
Don’t hesitate to use your electric vehicle’s artificial clutch when approaching a deceleration zone. It will allow you to maintain a slower pace and better anticipate repeated stops in traffic jams, for example. Bonus, you participate in the fluidity of traffic.
Take advantage of regenerative braking
During the braking and deceleration phases, the engine brake of an electric car generates energy, transforms it into electricity and stores it in the battery. The benefits of flexible driving in an electric vehicle then become even more meaningful.
The positive impact on the vehicle’s range can be considerable. It is possible to extend the range by about 20% through optimised use of regenerative braking. Today, several models of electric vehicles such as Tesla’s allow the power of regenerative braking to be adjusted. The higher the resistance of the engine brake, the more abruptly the vehicle brakes without you having to touch the brake pedal. Your brake discs and pads will thank you!
Activate the “eco” mode
The “eco” mode is one of the adjustable driving modes on most electric vehicles. The aim, as the name suggests, is to save energy by limiting engine power. This mode is perfectly suited to daily trips, during which there is no point in having an overpowered engine.
For example, the Volkswagen e-Golf offers two eco-driving modes: Eco and Eco+. Depending on the journey, the driver can choose to limit the power of his vehicle to 95 or 75 hp, i.e. a maximum speed of 115 or 90 km/h.
Slow down on the motorway
If you have to take the highway, try to be reasonable and not exceed 120 km/h, especially if you don’t drive a Tesla. On most models, kilowatts fly quickly above 100 km/h.
Therefore, be careful not to play with speed too much, especially if your next charge stop is still a long way off. Again, the time saved is negligible, not the range lost.
Maintain your tyres
Regardless of the type of engine, the condition of the tyres affects not only the safety of the vehicle but also its energy consumption.
Choosing the right tyres for your vehicle is the first step. Keeping an eye on the pressure and general condition of the tyres is just as important. Driving with under-inflated tyres will make your fuel consumption soar instantly.
Good to know: manufacturers such as Michelin, Bridgestone and Continental have come out with tyres specially designed for electric vehicles. The main difference with “conventional” ones is that they have lower rolling resistance, thus further optimizing the EV’s range.
Are you a fan of eco-driving? Feel free to share your experience and advice in the comments!
If you still haven’t done so,