More and more Australians are purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) and with the holiday period approaching, many owners will be hitting the road – and there are a few things they should know.
During the holiday season, it’s expected more electric cars are going to be on the road for longer periods of time which means charging stations are likely to clog up, especially along popular routes.
Before you even leave your driveway, and whether you have an electric car or not, you should check your tyres. You don’t want to be leaving on a long trip with bald or under-inflated tyres as this can be dangerous.
If you’re unsure what your tread is meant to look like, pop into your local mechanic or dealership to have these inspected.
If you are planning to have your vehicle serviced in the lead-up to the holidays, a tyre inspection can also be conducted then.
With an electric vehicle, it’s even more important to plan your road trip ahead of time. Figuring out when, where and how to charge your electric car are going to be important steps to ensure both you and your car are juiced up.
Apps like A Better Route Planner (ABRP) and Plugshare are great resources to assist with your pre-road trip research to help you avoid range anxiety.
It’s important to know ahead of time which charging stations may require special adapters or if your accommodation has charging facilities (and if so, what kind). You’ll be waiting a long, long time for your car to charge if you just plug it into a standard wall outlet, after all.
No one likes waiting around for what might seem like an unnecessarily long time.
If you plan to charge along your route, before typing in the charging station into your GPS ensure that you understand the charging speeds available and how fast you can charge your car.
Some public chargers including those at shopping centres may only allow for around 22kW of charge on AC power, compared to ultra-fast DC chargers which can peak at speeds of 350kW.
Pulling up to an AC charger therefore will mean you’ll be waiting longer to charge.
As an example, MG Australia says using one of these with its MG 4 will see 40-100km of range added every hour, while some DC chargers can add 70km of range in just 10 minutes.
To increase vehicle range, drivers should consider avoiding quick acceleration, maintaining a steady speed when travelling on freeways, and making use of regenerative braking as much as possible.
There is nothing more annoying than someone who leaves their electric car plugged in once it has completely charged, and you’re staring down the barrel of 1 per cent charge with the family in tow.
If you’re charging at an Evie or Chargefox charging station, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your battery’s charging status through their respective apps to avoid creating lengthy delays for others in line to charge.
If you’re in line for a charger and know you don’t need a full battery before reaching your next intended charging stop, perhaps consider the idea charging your vehicle to 100 per cent isn’t necessary.
While you’re at it, put the charger back in its dock when you’re done – you wouldn’t leave a petrol pump on the ground next to the bowser!
“We know from our own ZS EV or MG 4 customers that EV owners have a sense of camaraderie and community, offering support and advice to each other,” said a spokesperson from MG Australia.
“With that in mind, we recommend not leaving your EV unattended or on charge for longer than needed.”
It’s not only MG drivers who share this electric vehicle camaraderie, so this holiday season let’s all do the right thing and ensure we all arrive safely to our destinations.
And with that, Merry Christmas from CarExpert!