While electric vehicles usage is on the up, Hybrid and Electric cars road users will still find themselves in the minority on British roads for a while yet to come.
Even with enormous investment into making the roads EV ready, the UK’s infrastructure is still geared towards gas guzzlers, meaning resources such as charging points will be in high demand in popular locations. But EV drivers can follow these five tips for their next staycation.
1. Plan ahead of your trip
Preparation is key. Plan your journeys in advance to avoid being caught out with a flat battery. There are many tools, apps and forums which will help you locate charging stations to help you prepare for your trip across the UK. Your best resource is most likely other EV drivers who may have already traveled to the same areas you’re planning on visiting. Get online and learn about other people's experiences to ensure your own trip goes smoothly.
2. Be smart with your charging by using the 80/20 rule
If you’re not new to EV’s then the likelihood is you’re already familiar with the 80/20 rule. However, as EV ownership is booming this year, newer converts to electric vehicles may be unaware of this handy tip which will save both time and potential hassle.
Keep your battery between 80% and 20% charged, unless you’re charging at home. The reason being, charging to 80% massively optimises your charging time. It takes just as long to charge your EV from 80 to 100% as it does to charge it from 20 to 80%, so when charging remotely, unless absolutely necessary, charging to 80% should be enough to get you where you're going, but will mean only half the time spent charging.
The 20 part of the 80/20 rule is much more common sense - plan to recharge your can when you hit 20%. That way, if there is a problem, the charging station on the motorway is out of order for example, you still have enough range to put a Plan B into action.
3. Drive Conservatively
This is both for safety and battery conservation. Lots of British roads near popular destinations, away from motorways, are winding and have poor visibility. However, while sensible driving in these conditions is a valid safety tip, it’s one which will also help preserve the battery on your EV. Driving fast or unevenly is the easiest way to quickly drain your vehicle's battery. Especially on longer trips, you can travel much further without recharging by simply making your journey as smooth as possible. Follow this tip and it will make for a more comfortable trip on all counts!
4. Look after your battery, especially in heat
The maximum temperature to keep the battery to maximise your EV’s charging is between 20 and 40°C. Anything over 50% can be extremely damaging, especially to lithium-ion batteries. Rapid charging and erratic driving both have the potential to heat up your battery and this is something to be aware of. This is especially true on hot days, where the ambient temperature is going to also be a factor in how quickly your battery heats up.
You can offset this by allowing your battery to cool for a few moments between driving and charging. Different models and makes will be able to handle the heat to different degrees, so check with the manufacturer, or on forums for best practice, but it’s something all EV drivers need to be aware of!
5. Enjoy the Trip
While some of the advice on this page might make it sound like EV’s are a hassle in comparison to the old school petrol cars most people are used to. The reality is that electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars are no more hassle or complicated to run and operate than traditional vehicles, they’re simply different. They also require a slightly different approach and mindset, which once you’ve mastered, will become second nature to you. A trip away in your EV is a great opportunity to really get to grips with your vehicle and start to love it! Enjoy your EV and enjoy your staycation, you deserve it!