8 Tips For Taking Your Electric Car On A Road Trip This Summer

Pro EV Staff

Road Trip Picture

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Heading into summer is your EV’s time to shine – with its ultra smooth rides and instant acceleration, taking a road trip across the UK’s scenic country roads is when your electric car will really be able to show you what it’s made of. 

 

Of course, a longer trip in an electric car is when range anxiety is most likely to kick in – so we’ve listed some tips below to help preserve range and take good care of your electric car when taking it on holiday this summer.

 

Whether you’re heading on a beach holiday in Devon, a cottage stay in the Lakes or a 516 mile road trip across Scotland – you can do so with confidence.

1. Charge before you go

Take advantage of your regular charging method before you set off as this will be the final time that you’re in control of the pricing and rate of charge. Plus setting off with a nearly full battery (c.80%)  will give you a significant number of miles before you’ll need to top up for the first time. If you have a longer range EV, such as the Volkswagen ID Buzz Pro then you’ll be able to drive 100 miles with still 50% battery remaining.  

 

 

2. Plan your route and know your pit stops

When planning your route, make a note of the service stations and EV charging facilities available that you may need to stop at. Where possible, use a 7kW or 22kW charger and plan for a longer break – take a walk, have a snack or even nap while you charge. This is to reduce the  use of ultra rapid chargers that are likely to cost more but also can speed up battery degradation

 

It is also worth understanding your charging times – charging for an hour and a half using a 7kW charger would give you an additional 50 miles of range in the very energy efficient Hyundai Krona, 40 miles in the Renault Zoe and 30 miles in the Volkswagen ID Buzz Pro. 

 

You can use our EV charging calculator here to help you.

3. Choose accommodation with Electric charge points

Many hotels, holiday cottages and campsites are now installing charge points on site for guests to use. Choosing a stay with an EV charge point will mean you can top up while your sleep and set off in the morning fully charged and ready to go. If your stay doesn’t have a charge point on site, find one where there is a public charge point nearby. 

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4. Avoid charging your EV in the midday sun

Charging in extreme heat can speed up battery degradation, so when driving your EV in the summer try to charge in the morning or evening when it’s slightly cooler. The heat has an impact at 40 degrees celsius or above, so this mainly applies when driving outside of the UK in warmer climates or on those rare sweltering days during a UK heatwave.

 

This also means checking the weather before you set off and keeping an eye on it while out. Most weather websites now show hourly temperatures, so you should be able to plan accordingly. 

5. Avoid Driving in extreme heat

According to studies, the optimum temperature to drive for the best range is 20 degrees celsius. So if doing very long legs and/ or want to preserve range then it’s best to drive at this temperature. In the height of summer or if driving in a warmer climate around Europe, then aim to do the longer legs of your driving during the early morning or evening. And the best thing to do at lunchtime is… get lunch.

6. Park your EV in the shade

As well as avoiding charging in extreme heat,  keeping your EV out of 40 degrees heat generally will help extend the lifespan of your battery. Park your car in a garage, covered car park or find a shaded spot under some trees. Relaxing in a leafy spot and finding somewhere nice to have lunch is a good way to enjoy every moment of your trip.

7. Take advantage of regenerative braking

Regenerative braking is a key feature of most electric cars that sets them apart from petrol and diesel cars. Regenerative (or regen) braking is a method of decelerating where the vehicle captures the energy that would normally be lost by braking and adds this back into the EV which increases its range. How to use regen braking depends on your specific EV, but generally you just need to slowly take your foot off the accelerator so the vehicle slows down to a halt. 

8. Be mindful when using air conditioning and car entertainment

In an EV, the battery pack used for features like air conditioning, sat nav, infotainment systems is also used for driving range. With this in mind, switching off the aircon can help increase range if you’re running low or want to preserve it.

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