With advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure, electric cars (EVs) have gone a long way in recent years, becoming a more appealing alternative for many drivers. The effect of different in-car amenities on battery life and driving range is one issue that prospective EV purchasers are still concerned about. This thorough guide will explain what features drain an EV battery most ? to get the most efficiency and range out of your EV.
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What Features Drain an EV Battery Most ?
1. The Impact of Speed on Battery Efficiency
- 1.1 Increased Battery Drain at Higher Speeds
The pace at which you travel is one of the most important features that affects the battery life of an electric car. Driving at 70 mph as opposed to 30 mph may, on average, deplete the battery 68% faster, according to study by a car leasing business. This is due to the fact that the energy needed to overcome tire friction and aerodynamic drag grows exponentially with speed.
- 1.2 Tips for Efficient Driving
Adopting a more cautious driving approach is crucial if you want to maximize the efficiency and range of your EV. Your vehicle’s range may be increased by employing eco-driving modes, predicting traffic patterns, and gradual acceleration and braking. Additionally, take into account lowering your highway cruising speed because even a slight decrease in speed may save a lot of energy.
2. Climate Control Systems: Heating and Air Conditioning
2.1 Heating: The Biggest Battery Drainer
One of the most energy-consuming aspects of an EV is the heating, which accelerates battery discharge by an average of 17%. During the winter months, when the heating system is utilized more frequently, it is especially important to keep this in mind. Consider utilizing heated seats and steering wheels (if available) instead of the cabin heater to reduce the effect of heating on your EV’s range because these features use less energy.
2.2 Air Conditioning: A Lesser, but Still Significant Impact
Additionally, heavy on energy air conditioning units accelerate up the battery’s rate of discharge by an average of 11%. Consider adjusting the thermostat to a reasonable level and utilizing the recirculation mode to keep the cabin at a suitable temperature in order to lessen the effect of air conditioning on your EV’s range.
3. Lighting Systems: Headlights, Brake Lights, and Fog Lights
3.1 Minimal Impact on Battery Range
Electric car lighting systems contribute only 0.27 km/h or 270 meters of range per hour of driving, which is a negligibly tiny amount. This is due to the fact that contemporary EVs employ LED lighting, which consumes less electricity than conventional incandescent or halogen lamps.
3.2 Tips for Efficient Lighting Use
To minimize the impact of lighting systems on your EV’s battery life, ensure that you only use headlights, brake lights, and fog lights when necessary. Additionally, consider using daytime running lights or automatic headlights, which use less energy than manually controlled lighting systems.
4. Audio and Infotainment Systems
4.1 Increased Energy Consumption with Advanced Features
Infotainment systems and audio equipment in modern electric vehicles can consume a substantial amount of energy, especially in models with large displays and powerful video game systems. On average, using the infotainment system can reduce the vehicle’s range by 0.4 miles per hour, while the audio system can reduce it by 0.3 miles per hour.
4.2 Balancing Entertainment and Efficiency
To minimize the impact of audio and infotainment systems on your EV’s battery life, consider limiting the use of high-power features, such as video games or large display screens. Additionally, opt for energy-efficient audio systems and listen to music or podcasts at a moderate volume to conserve battery life.
5. Heated Seats and Steering Wheels
5.1 More Energy-Efficient than Cabin Heating
Heated seats and steering wheels can be a more energy-efficient alternative to cabin heating, consuming approximately 50 watt-hours each and reducing the vehicle’s range by only 0.3 miles per hour per seat. This makes heated seats and steering wheels a more sustainable option for staying warm during colder months.
5.2 Tips for Efficient Use of Heated Features
To maximize the efficiency of heated seats and steering wheels, only use them when necessary and at the lowest possible setting that still provides adequate warmth. Additionally, remember that the energy consumption of heated features increases with the number of seats being used, so encourage passengers to use them sparingly.
6. USB Chargers and Windscreen Wipers
6.1 Minimal Impact on Battery Life
USB chargers and windscreen wipers have a relatively small effect on an EV’s battery life, with USB ports accounting for just 9 meters of range per hour of use, and windscreen wipers increasing battery drain speed by up to 15%. This means that using these features should not significantly impact your vehicle’s overall range.
6.2 Efficient Use of Charging and Wiper Features
To maximize the efficiency of your EV’s USB chargers and windscreen wipers, only use them when necessary and avoid overloading the charging ports with multiple devices. Additionally, use the intermittent setting for your windscreen wipers to minimize energy consumption.
7. Brakes and Suspension Systems
7.1 Low Energy Consumption for Essential Systems
The ABS, brake servo, power steering motor, and suspension compressor systems in modern electric vehicles consume only a small amount of energy, accounting for about 100 watt-hours of power consumption and approximately half a kilometer of range per hour.
7.2 Maximizing Efficiency with Regenerative Braking
One way to save the energy consumption of these essential systems is by utilizing the regenerative braking feature found in most EVs. This feature recaptures kinetic energy during coasting and braking, converting it into electrical energy that is then used to recharge the battery. By adopting a smoother driving style and making use of regenerative braking, you can increase your EV’s overall efficiency and range.
8. Aerodynamic Drag and Speed
8.1 The Relationship Between Drag and Energy Loss
At highway speeds, aerodynamic drag is the main cause of energy loss in electric cars. For instance, a Tesla Model 3 needs 11 kW of electricity to travel at 70 mph, 9.5 kW of which is utilized to reduce drag. Increasing the range of your EV may be accomplished by lowering your cruising speed by just 2 mph, which can save 8.4% on energy.
8.2 Tips for Reducing Aerodynamic Drag
To minimize the impact of aerodynamic drag on your electric vehicle’s range, consider driving at a slightly lower speed and maintaining a consistent pace. Additionally, avoid opening windows at high speeds, as this can create turbulence and increase drag, further reducing your vehicle’s efficiency.
9. Vehicle Weight and Tire Efficiency
9.1 The Impact of Additional Passengers and Luggage
Adding passengers and luggage to an electric vehicle can affect its energy consumption, as the increased mass and momentum result in greater energy requirements for acceleration and braking. However, the regenerative braking systems found in most EVs help to offset these energy losses by capturing energy during coasting and braking, making the overall impact on range relatively minimal.
9.2 Choosing the Right Tires for Your EV
Tire choice plays a crucial role in the efficiency of an electric vehicle. Poor-quality tires can dramatically reduce an EV’s range due to increased rolling resistance and friction. To maximize your electric vehicle’s efficiency and range, choose high-quality, low-rolling-resistance tires specifically designed for electric vehicles.
10. Conclusion: Balancing Efficiency and Comfort
While many in-car features can impact an EV’s battery life and overall range, most of these effects can be mitigated through efficient use of the features and adopting a more conservative driving style. By understanding the impact of various features and implementing strategies to minimize their energy consumption, you can enjoy the comfort and convenience of your electric vehicle without sacrificing range and efficiency.