- As well as being good for the environment, alternative powertrains like in the Hyundai IONIQ Electric can also be cost-efficient and save drivers money compared to traditional cars.
Batteries, motors and electric drive controls make electric vehicles (EVs) more efficient compared to the internal combustion of traditional cars. The IONIQ Electric has been praised for its efficiency with the US Environmental Protection Agency recently naming it as the most efficient car tested this year. With a range of 200 km on a 28 kWh battery pack, it outperformed all other EVs. Meanwhile, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy awarded the IONIQ electric with its highest-ever green car score and awarded it its annual Greenest Vehicle award.
To make the most of an electric battery pack, here are six ways to extend an EV’s range on a single charge.
Avoid going full throttle
In order to use fewer of those precious electrons and make EVs last for a longer distance on a single charge, drivers should learn to anticipate stops and slowly coast towards red lights by lifting their feet of their accelerator pedals. Then, when the light switches to green, drivers should gently ease down on the pedal until gradually reaching the speed limit of the road. It is estimated that aggressive driving reduces efficiency by around 30 per cent.
When taking to the motorway, where aerodynamics make a big difference, it is important for drivers to stay as close as possible to the speed limit. Efficiency and range is reduced by roughly 10 per cent for every 16 km/h of speed over the limit.
Modify your car’s settings depending on your journey
EVs provide different drive modes that can be modified depending on the type of journey you choose to undertake. The IONIQ Electric offers three: Normal, Eco for maximum energy saving and Sport for a dynamic driving experience. While Sport mode will be favoured by drivers who like to speed away when the traffic lights go green, Eco mode will buy a few more kilometres of driving. The IONIQ Electric also features driver aids such as regenerative braking level controls on the wheels, which provides less friction braking and creates drag to maximise the car’s range.
Regularly performance maintenance check-ups
Though EVs require less maintenance than petrol-powered cars, it is important that drivers regularly check on the essentials, as poor upkeep can have a detrimental effect on efficiency. Owners of electric cars should make sure their tyres are properly inflated and checked regularly with a gauge to ensure they are at the correct level. A vehicle’s fuel economy goes down one per cent for every three pounds of pressure missing from its tyres.
Drivers should also keep an eye on their EV’s coolant levels. While electric cars don’t have an engine that needs to be kept cool, many use liquid cooling so that the battery pack, inverter and motor operate at peak efficiency. EV owners risk poor driving performance without sufficient levels of cooling, and overheated components can damage battery life.
Plan your routes in advance
It is important that drivers choose the best journey for their electric car, and this may sometimes mean taking a slightly longer route or avoiding motorways altogether, as when a car’s speed increases, so does the drag. The faster the car moves, the more energy is required to fight through the air, and this drains a car’s battery more quickly.
While journeys that avoid motorways can give drivers better range, alternative routes should be explored, as roads that feature lots of stops and starts, or challenging hills, may be less efficient. Routes with gentle gradients, minimal intersections and light traffic are preferable.
Use your car’s ventilation system instead of air conditioning
Drivers who like to use heating and air conditioning systems during the winter and summer months are estimated to lower their car’s efficiency by about 20 percent. For maximum efficiency, it’s best to use a car’s ventilation system to cool or warm the cabin instead. The IONIQ Electric features heated and ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel. These features are preferable for warming passengers’ bodies in colder weather, rather than heating the entire car.
Many drivers like to wind down the windows when driving on fast roads and motorways. However, open windows drastically affect the aerodynamic flow of a vehicle, and can often decrease a car’s efficiency even more than running the air conditioning, so it’s best to keep them closed when driving at high speeds.
Aim for 6,25 km per kWh
Efficiency is calculated in traditional cars by kilometres-per-hour, however EVs don’t run on litres of liquid fuel, so are measured by kilometres-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) instead. The IONIQ Electric’s dashboard provides efficiency stats so drivers can track how much energy they’re using. To achieve efficiency with EVs, drivers should aim to go around 6,25 km on a kilowatt-hour of charge. Wasteful driving will result in 5 km or less per kilowatt-hour.
28 kWh Battery: Battery efficiency: 11.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km