Electric Explained: What is battery range and how can you improve it?

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Understanding battery is very important if you want to make the most of your and truck. Although the days of 'variety anxiety' are rapidly ending up being a distant memory thanks to bigger batteries and the expansion of the public charging network, there are a number of techniques and pointers that will help you eject every last drop of energy from your battery. Join Ginny as she sorts the fact from the fiction.

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29 responses to “Electric Explained: What is battery range and how can you improve it?”

  1. Philip Walker Avatar
    Philip Walker

    Your videos and channel are so helpful especially for new EV Users like myself
    Stay safe everyone 👍

  2. Jawolf Avatar

    WLTP is same as MPG and as we know the claimed MPG of a car were barely comparable with real life use. In an EV, a heat pump will help in the winter months. I find 260 miles is achievable in Summer and 220 in the winter from a full charge on my 64kWh battery. Jjust like a petrol, you will not use that full range as you will recharge before reaching zero. Bonus with a home charger is that if you arrive home with only a few miles left, you can charge an EV on your driveway.

    1. Noah_E Avatar

      WLTP ratings tend to be 11% higher than EPA ratings and 20% higher than reality. EVs also tend to be farther off than ICE. The EPA revised their testing in 2017 and it’s long overdue to the UK to do the same. I am by no means a hypermiler, but meet or beat EPA ratings with my ICEs. My Crosstrek was rated for 33 Hwy, but would consistently get over 39 on long trips. My Forester is rated for 28 hwy, but gets into the mid-30s. The same is true for my F350, Grand Cherokee, etc. I pay attention to what is going on ahead/around me, like slowing down when approaching a light well in advance so it turns green and traffic is moving before I get there without aggressive braking and acceleration. I have adaptive cruise on the vehicles I use most often and use it as much as possible.

  3. KZ Avatar

    one pedal drive does not improve range,. regeneration does,. and most electric cars regenerate on the brake pedal as well as with one padel drive,. it’s makes use if the exact same technology.
    one padel drime may have an possitiv effect on your driving stile / les agressive. that may improve range.

    1. drxym Avatar

      1-pedal driving doesn’t stop a car doing regen. Put your foot down to go faster take your foot off to go slower. Going slower happens by the car delivering less power or engaging regen. My MG4 doesn’t have 1-pedal driving but 2nd generation MG4s do and about the only difference between 1-pedal mode and what my car does is my car won’t come to a complete standstill and will instead creep and I have to hold the brake to stop it happening. For the rest of time I’m basically just using the accelerator and will only hit the brakes to come to a more sudden stop.

    2. EVKX Avatar

      @drxym the biggest problem with one pedal driving (or lift-off regen if you like) is that is adds some not neded regen. It is more efficient to coast and let the road friction reduce speed where possible.

  4. Vikram D Avatar
    Vikram D

    I like the work they do at electrifying but I am not convinced EV’s are better than hybrids considering overall and eventual pollution sources.

    1. drxym Avatar

      There are studies online and calculators (e.g. beyond tailpipe calculator) which show your emissions in an EV vs ICE. Basically though EVs cause more emissions during manufacture but over its lifetime it’s like a third less than a pure ICE vehicle. The breakeven point is 12,000-15,000 miles but it depends on the blend of electricity sources (coal, oil, nuclear, solar, wind) in your area. This breakeven point will obvious lower over time as renewables increase and battery chemistries get cheaper and simpler. I have no idea what the breakeven is for a hybrid but considering it has an engine AND a battery, I’m imagining it’s probably closer to ICE than EV on a graph.

  5. Reddylion Avatar

    Nice evs

  6. Anthony Stevens Avatar
    Anthony Stevens

    Nice one Ginny. Not only does this make a lot of sense for an EV driver who wants to extract the greatest range for a journey it also rings true (apart from the regenerative braking bit for ann EV or the heater from a car with an ICE) for petrol and diesel vehicles in most cases. I’ve had an invitation by a dealer to try some cars and hopefully I’ll get the chance to try an EV, I’ve sat in and been a passenger in but have yet to drive a full EV. Hopefully I’ll find out in a week or so.

  7. Gordon McCartney Avatar
    Gordon McCartney

    Just received my EV6
    Turning air con only dropped the range by 4 miles. So far I’m doing an 80 mile commute on the motorway sitting around 60mph…. I’m getting 300 miles easily from a charge. Can’t complain at all.

  8. drxym Avatar

    I charge MG4 from 20% to 80% once every 7 to 10 days. My old car which was a Renault Clio needed refueling every 10-14 days but that was equivalent of 10-100% since I fill the tank. So I think I’m getting comparable range out of both and it costs about 1/5th the cost to charge the EV at night vs petrol. Biggest issue with owning an EV in Ireland is the charging infrastructure isn’t as good as the UK’s but there are superchargers around in the unlikely event I needed to drive from Cork to Belfast for some absurd reason in the morning.

  9. carolyn RW Avatar
    carolyn RW

    In our case it was more. We own the Toyota bZ4X AWD. The car it touted to have a 222-228 range. We average 260-280, due to our driving habits, and city driving. We do take a little hit when we drive to the lake, which is a more rural route.

    1. Be Low Below Avatar
      Be Low Below

      I’d go into anything else but a bZ4X, sorry…

  10. Antony McNeillis Avatar
    Antony McNeillis

    Good points but I still want the biggest battery that I can get. The public charging infrastructure still needs to be developed and reliable.

  11. Brent Diez Avatar
    Brent Diez

    Preheating or precooling your cabin while still plugged in, takes the energy from the socket vs. the battery. Maintaining temps take less energy than the initial heat up/cool down.

  12. EVKX Avatar

    Very nice video that cover most about range. But there is one thing I want to add. High Regen is not more effcient, but less efficient. Thats why german brands does not like one pedal driving. It is more efficient to coast, and use the blended brakes (that also regenerate energy) only when needed. One Pedal driving add regen that is not needed, and regen does not put all energy back in to the battery. Only like 80% of the kinetic energy. The exception is Tesla that does not have advanced blended brakes. There one pedal driving is the only way to restore energy.

  13. Mark D Larsen Avatar
    Mark D Larsen

    Ah, Ginny… I LO❤E seeing your doggy! You’ve covered nearly all the suggestions I give to owners to improve their range. They do help! When I had my Nissan LEAF, after 6 years it averaged 5.18 mi/kWh. After over 5 years in my Model 3, it has averaged 4.04 mi/kW.

  14. jason ranford Avatar
    jason ranford

    I managed to add 30 miles of range on my eGolf by sitting behind large lorries, going about 60/65mph down the M1.

    1. Be Low Below Avatar
      Be Low Below

      What were your tyres’ psi?

  15. Tadas Gindulis Avatar
    Tadas Gindulis

    A lot of talks about money, but real money saver is economic diesel car. And most of electric cars fits just to drive to work and home + a little bit around. If you driving longer distances you must have second car

    1. ChargeheadsUK Avatar

      Incorrect, if you drive regular long distance you buy a Tesla, until the non Tesla public charging is better! 😉⚡️🔋

    2. Tadas Gindulis Avatar
      Tadas Gindulis

      @ChargeheadsUK Tesla ugliest car ever, i better drive fiat panda than tesla 🙂

    3. ChargeheadsUK Avatar

      @Tadas Gindulis beauty is in the eye of the beholder my friend. Plus an EV doesnt have that IMO ugly smoke out the back 😉

  16. Simon Russell Avatar
    Simon Russell

    The answer. Drive at at least 10mph under every speed limit, at the same time as pissing off everyone behind you and in the winter, wear 4 layers in the car as you shouldn’t turn on the heater, or you’ll lose another 10% of range. Such benefits when you are paying a small fortune for an electric car in the first place. My answer, just buy a hybrid.

  17. Grizzly HP2 Avatar
    Grizzly HP2

    Improve range? Build smaller 2-door EV’s with LFP batteries.
    Smaller is less weight is less cost and more range. Big is . . . kinda dumb isn’t it.
    LFP batteries should have between 5 and 10% less energie, but . . . . what you have, can be used in total. Charging to 100% and discharging to 0 without battery degredation (mostly)
    The LiIon battery (NMC chemestry) you better keep between 20% and 80% to keep it healthy, which gives a average use of only 60% of the total capacity.

  18. vitspinka1 Avatar

    This is always the same recommendations – good to repeat them, but very basic.

    But it could go so much deeper – on a long trip should I charge to 80% on every stop, or is it faster to charge less and do more steps?
    Or should I buy a small battery EV and hire an ICE for the few long trips I do in a year?
    I don’t know the answers. And I am sure there are more ideas out there which I don’t know about.

  19. S J Avatar
    S J

    You really are pumping out some inane videos lately.

  20. Bruce Kennedy Avatar
    Bruce Kennedy

    A couple of other points worth mentioning. Firstly, wind, rain and quite simply air resistance affect all cars efficiently, not just electric as indeed is driving fast (because you are fighting a greater and greater losing battle against air resistance) but it’s very true that there is a bigger drop in efficiency for EVs on motorways than petrol or diesel cars. Second, while using regen is great for stop-start town driving or down a long hill, or any time when you know you are going to need to slow down from a decent speed, its usually better to switch it off and be ‘rolling’ on a highway – keeping regen on here often wastes more kinetic energy than you gain back.

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