Tips for increasing the range of electric vehicles, especially in hot weather

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Hot weather can have a significant impact on electric vehicle range. Here are six tips to follow to ensure you get the most out of your EV when the mercury rises.

1. Avoid parking in the sun

Your electric vehicle has a thermal management system that works hard to keep the vehicle cool. If you leave the car parked in the open, the direct heat from the sun will make it harder for this system to work. This will eventually drain the car battery. Park under a tree or in a garage.

2. Go easy on the air conditioning

In this age of climate change, the summer weather can be quite unbearable and air conditioning is a must when you’re behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn up the AC power until your car cabin looks like Santa’s freezer. Running the air conditioning on full blast will quickly reduce your car’s range. Use AC power, but take a moderate approach when setting the temperature.

Also see: The pros and cons of electric cars

3. Releasing the throttle means more EV range

With a gasoline-powered car, taking a cautious approach to throttle management will do you no favors when it comes to fuel economy. With an electric vehicle, this type of driving will have a negative effect on the range of your car. Avoid aggressive accelerations. And keep an eye on the speedometer. Driving at moderate speeds will put less strain on the battery than driving on the highway at a frantic pace. Adopting a patient, relaxed driving style will help you optimize the distance your car can travel between charges when the mercury rises.

See: How much does it cost to charge an electric car? We do the math

4. Lighten your load to extend the range of the electric vehicle

A heavy payload can reduce the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered car. Likewise, too much luggage can overload the battery of your electric vehicle and reduce the range. Check the trunk or cargo area to make sure you’re not carrying gear that isn’t necessary for your trip. If you’re not going to surf, leave the surfboard at home. Every little bit counts, and lightening the load on the car by a few pounds can reap benefits.

Check: Which electric SUVs have the most cargo space? Here is a full list

5. Avoid a full charge

Yes, I know there is a satisfying sense of completion that comes with fully charging your EV. But it is not advisable in hot weather. As the charge of the battery increases, its internal resistance increases. This resistance can increase the heat of the battery, which will put even more strain on the device in hot weather. Aim for an 80% charge. This is the best way to go in the summer to promote battery health and optimize range.

6. Lower stereo to add EV range

The right soundtrack can help improve a summer drive, but it’s important to remember that your electric vehicle’s stereo is powered by its battery. This means that if you have the radio on full volume, you will pay the price when it comes to car range. Maximize the distance you can travel between charges by keeping the stereo volume at a moderate level. And if you’re low on juice and want to extend your car’s range, bite the bullet and turn off the stereo.

Final Thoughts

When electric vehicles were first introduced, the average range topped out at around 80 miles. Things have changed a lot in just a few years, and these days there are a number of electric vehicles on the market that can go over 200 miles between charges. Whatever the range of your electric vehicle, the tips above will help you get the most out of it when the temperature soars.

This story originally took place on KBB.com.

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