Common mistakes made by new EV owners
EVs have a range of differences from their petrol and diesel counterparts, so it’s no shock that there are some common mistakes made by most new EV owners. Here are six mistakes to avoid if you’ve just bought your first EV.
- Range anxiety
Range anxiety is the worry that your vehicle’s range isn’t sufficient enough for your driving needs. For the majority of drivers, however, this isn’t really a concern. It’s estimated that the average mileage of an EV is 211 miles, although this comes down to the make and model of the vehicle, as well as your driving habits. Research shows that drivers in the UK travel an average of 20 miles per day, so even a lower-range EV will likely last the best part of a week on a single charge.
Even if your EV battery has the capacity to make the distance you’re travelling, it can still be nerve-wracking heading long distances and being unaware of when the next charging opportunity will be. Using a tool like Zapmap can help combat range anxiety, showing the location of all public chargepoints across the UK. It even lets you plan EV-friendly routes for added peace of mind.
- Improper storage
If you live in an area with frequent cold weather, you should take precautions to keep your EV warm when not in use. Colder temperatures can damage the EV’s battery, so try to keep your vehicle in a garage, or underneath a car cover to protect against the elements.
Cold temperatures can have a few different negative effects on an EV, find out more here.
- Neglecting regenerative braking
Regenerative braking, also known as ‘one-pedal driving’ is where the vehicle brakes whenever pressure is removed from the accelerator. In doing so, the energy that is usually lost by braking is instead captured and stored in the battery, increasing the vehicle’s range.
Many new EV drivers neglect regenerative braking, often due to the fact that it can be difficult to get the hang of. It’s worth putting in the practice though, as additional mileage is never a bad thing.
- Frequent fast charging
Certain chargepoints are capable of fast charging EVs, with many being able to fully charge a vehicle in under 30 minutes. This sounds good in theory, but using a fast charger too frequently can cause the battery’s performance and durability to deteriorate. Try to only use fast chargers when you really need to, such as on long road trips or when you’ve forgotten to charge your vehicle and need to increase its range quickly.
The lithium-ion batteries inside EVs are similar to the ones in our phones. As most of us have probably experienced with our phones, over time they don’t hold their charge for as long as they once did. You can expect the same from an EV battery, but this is sped up if the vehicle is regularly let to run down to 0% charge, then recharged up to 100%. It’s recommended to keep your EV’s battery between 30%-80% wherever possible. It’s fine to occasionally fill the vehicle up to 100%, but try to unplug it as soon as possible after.
Similarly to this, natural degradation occurs whenever the battery is charged. Try to charge your vehicle fewer times for longer. With a home chargepoint, it can be easy to automatically charge your vehicle up when you return home even if it doesn’t really need it. You need to find the right balance – don’t let the battery get too low that you start experiencing range anxiety, but don’t feel pressured to charge it at every opportunity.
- Not installing a home chargepoint
For any EV owner, having a home chargepoint provides unrivalled peace of mind. Although there are ample charging opportunities across the country, these require you to take your vehicle to a specific location and wait around whilst it recharges. It isn’t the same as needing to go out to refuel a petrol or diesel car, as charging an EV takes much longer, and as mentioned above, you shouldn’t solely rely on fast chargers.
Hopefully, this list has helped you identify some mistakes you may be making as an EV owner. EVs are expensive vehicles, so it’s important to take the right precautions to look after them correctly.