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Three electric car hacks for a better driving experience

The benefits of driving an electric vehicle (EV) aren’t a secret any longer. While public backlash to fossil fuel alternatives was stark at the turn of the century, EVs have rapidly evolved into the most viable rival to traditional internal combustion engines (ICE).

There are now a whopping 477,000 EVs on the road in Britain, as well as a further 790,000 plug-in hybrids. With adoption of this sustainable form of travel more widespread than ever, it’s time for EV drivers to start thinking about how to get the most out of their vehicles.

Today, we’ll run over three of the best tricks of the trade for motorists who want to maximise their electric driving experience. From understanding different modes on their car, to capitalising on charging opportunities, here are a trio of tips you can’t afford to ignore.

Utilise different driving modes

Did you know your EV has a wide range of driving modes? These different styles of driving have been created to alleviate concerns related to the use of energy in colder months. EVs tend to require more power to keep a car warm in the winter, so it pays to optimise your mode usage to keep your battery topped up.

The three most important (and common) modes to master are:

  • Eco-mode. Perfect for city driving, this mode will reduce acceleration levels without changing the vehicle’s engine power. This helps you when braking, as you’ll waste less energy.
  • Sport mode. While caution is always key, there are occasions where picking up speed with less stress on the engine is in your EV’s best interest – such as when joining a motorway. This mode boosts sensitivity of the acceleration pedal, without draining the battery.
  • EV mode. This mode has limited uses, but can be handy when parking, pulling out of a garage, or travelling slowly in general. It’s a particularly useful tool for those driving a hybrid vehicle.

The mode you choose to drive in will largely be determined by how you feel your EV handles best. Make sure you stick with what you’re comfortable with, and never push your car beyond its limits.

Always know where your nearest charge point is

As anyone driving an EV can tell you, range anxiety (not knowing if your vehicle will make it to your end destination without running out of power) has the potential to leave you feeling uneasy behind the wheel. The best way to combat this sense of dread is to stay on top of where your next charge could be coming from.

Zap Map has a detailed breakdown of every public charge point that can currently be found in the UK. Make sure to keep this to hand, and think about plotting out a route which sees you travel through an area where they’re in abundance.

If all else fails, pull over to the side of the road, park up safely, and consult the map to see how far it is to your next top-up. This can take a huge weight off your mind.

Be smart when you charge up

By 2035 there are expected to be as many as 11.83 million charge points in the UK alone. Over 9 million of these are likely to be private. And while that sounds like a lot, it pays to have your own private charging system installed at home.

Charging overnight means you can wake up in the morning, safe in the knowledge that your vehicle is ready for a full day of driving – without the need to find a public space for an emergency top-up.

That doesn’t necessarily mean charging it to full capacity every time, though. In fact, most EV batteries will become damaged if you leave them charging at 100% while stationary. Instead, think about using a timed charger, which will shut off the power to your vehicle once it gets to a certain point. The generally accepted sweet spot for an electric battery is around 75%.

Have these tips given you a clearer picture of how to get the most out of your EV driving experience? Whether you’re new to this kind of power, or a seasoned pro, there’s always more to be done to optimise your experience. Make sure to keep these hacks in mind when you next prepare for a road trip. They could make a big difference.