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Living with an electric vehicle - How to maximise your range

Posted 19th April 2023

Living with an electric vehicle - How to maximise your range

Whether you’re a current electric vehicle owner or are looking to make the switch in the near future, there are many important factors to consider when trying to maximise your vehicle’s range.

We’re going to take a look at the key factors to ensure you can appropriately prepare for journeys and be as efficient as possible while on the road.

Many of the wonderful brands we represent across Dick Lovett have electric vehicles (EVs) within their lineups. While EVs certainly differ in many ways from brand to brand, just as your regular combustion engine equivalent would, there are some common factors that apply to all electric vehicles, particularly when it comes to what affects your driving range and how to make your car go as far as possible before requiring a recharge.

Porsche Taycan

Driving Style

Your driving style is naturally a huge contributing factor when it comes to vehicle range. Depending on how you drive, this can both positively and negatively affect how many miles you can cover on a single charge. In order to get the most range out of your electric car, you should consider the following:

  • Avoid harsh braking and sudden acceleration - driving as smoothly as possible will not only use less energy, which means that you’ll consume less range, but it will also reduce wear on vehicle components. When driving on motorways and dual carriageways, the use of cruise control when suitable will also ensure smoother driving and maximise your range.
  • Lower your road speed - driving at high speeds will increase wind resistance dramatically, which will in turn reduce your potential range. Driving at the speed limit or lower, when safe to do so, is recommended.
  • Utilise driving modes that focus on efficiency - take advantage of your vehicle’s specifically designed drive modes to ensure your vehicle is operating as efficiently as possible. This often involves increasing regenerative braking, lowering throttle response and tweaking other elements to ensure the vehicle can travel as many miles as possible. Taking full advantage of your vehicle’s regenerative braking is one of the best ways to maximise range. With some practice, you can avoid considerable brake usage by simply lifting off the accelerator - which will transform your motor into an electricity generator. Rather than preserving range, this will actually recover energy, which will be added back to the battery.
  • Effective route planning can also reduce battery usage. Avoiding areas with steep hills and inclines will certainly be beneficial. Certain applications and software such as Google Maps automatically provide alternative routes that are aimed at reducing consumption by avoiding energy-demanding roads. 

Drive Modes

Temperature & Preconditioning

It’s commonly known that cold weather unfortunately has a negative effect on the range of electric vehicles. Despite this, you can prepare your vehicle in the best way possible so that no matter the temperature, your vehicle will be optimised accordingly. This is known as preconditioning, which involves the pre-heating or cooling of your vehicle to ensure maximum comfort and driving range before you embark on your journey. 

Available through your car’s infotainment system or connected smartphone app, you can schedule daily departure times so that the vehicle prepares itself for your journey ahead of time. This is particularly effective while your vehicle is charging, as all power required to heat or cool the vehicle is taken directly from the mains rather than the car. This therefore allows you to begin your journey on full charge without needing to use power to defrost the windscreen for example. Read more about the advantages and benefits of electric cars here.

It’s also worth noting that using your vehicle’s heater will reduce range considerably more than other features such as the radio, lights and heated seats/steering wheel. It’s therefore worth turning off the heater when not required and instead fully utilise the heated seats and steering wheel if you have them.

BMW i3 Settings

Preconditioning a vehicle can often be misinterpreted, this is because conditioning a vehicle’s battery as opposed to just the cabin provides additional benefits. While preconditioning the cabin mainly focuses on improving comfort, preconditioning the battery itself is similar to leaving your engine to warm up to temperature before departing. As you may have noticed while driving an internal combustion engine vehicle, fuel consumption is worse when you begin your journey. This is especially noticeable when it’s cold outside, as the vehicle has to work harder to achieve optimum temperature.

The same applies to electric vehicles. That’s why preconditioning the battery so that it’s already warm when beginning your journey, is particularly beneficial. On many vehicles, this simply means allowing more time for the vehicle to precondition before driving, so that all components can reach their most efficient temperatures. To learn more about how to precondition your vehicle specifically, please get in touch.

Explore our impressive selection of electric cars for sale


Carrying lots of luggage will increase your vehicle’s weight and therefore require more energy to move. It’s not only luggage within the interior of the vehicle but also exterior carrying equipment such as roof bars and a roof box, that will not only increase weight, but also drag. 

Equally, regularly carrying a high number of passengers is also a factor that will affect the range you can come to expect from your vehicle. Although often unavoidable, there are some good practices you can follow to avoid unnecessarily reducing your vehicle’s range. Removing luggage and exterior equipment when it’s not required is the easiest way of reducing weight and increasing your range.

BMW XM Luggage

Tyre Pressures

Like with all cars, ensuring that your tyres have the correct pressure can greatly increase your driving distance. When tyres are under-inflated, they consume more energy and reduce the distance that you can cover on a full charge. 

It is recommended that you check your tyre pressure at least once a month, and certainly before embarking on long journeys. Your vehicle's handbook will have the recommended pressure listed. If your tyres are low on pressure, visit your nearest garage and top them up to the recommended level, or contact Dick Lovett.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S


Living with an electric vehicle certainly provides a different experience to that of your traditional combustion engine. However, once you’ve gotten used to some of the new factors to consider and mastered the art of maximising your vehicle’s range, you’ll further appreciate the benefits of making the switch to electric.

For more information on anything we’ve written about or general electric vehicle queries, please contact any of our Dick Lovett dealerships and we’ll be happy to help. We also have a blog dedicated to electric content, which you can view here to find out more, including advice on how to service and maintain your electric car.

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