Driving style (example shown in Renault ZOE 22kWh)

One thing any existing or soon to be, Electric Vehicle driver should always bear in mind is ‘Driving Style’, this can sometimes, quite dramatically, impact your expected range.

Electric Vehicles are smart, they analyse your driving style and take this into account when estimating your expected range. If you are a rapid accelerator and tend to brake hard, you might find that your estimated range will drop quite low. I certainly have a tendency to forget this and simply enjoy the ride a bit too much when I’m doing short journeys, I find myself in this situation quite a lot.

But it can easily be rectified, you simply need to adjust your driving style, drive more economically and with a bit more consideration, soon you won’t realise you’re doing it and the car will give you better range expectations. The good news is that this is easy to do by just reacting to the feedback that the acceleration indicator on the dashboard gives you.

Your Visual Guide to Acceleration

Zoe Accelerating (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

Zoe Accelerating (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

When you use rapid acceleration/peddle to the metal, it shows as many Yellow bars.

If you find you are constantly in yellow, be prepared to see your estimated range drop quite considerably.

ZOE gradual acceleration (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

ZOE gradual acceleration (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

When you start driving more economically, with gradual acceleration, you can see this as fewer Green bars.

Get the most out of your range, try and stay within the green bars. If you switch to Eco mode the car will help you do this by restricting your maximum acceleration.

Success! Your range will become more predictable and consistent.

Your Visual Guide to Regenerative Braking

Regenerative Braking, also known as Battery Recovery is the clever trick where an Electric Vehicle reverses the behaviour of an electric motor. Instead of using electricity from the battery to create car motion, it uses the motion of the car to create electricity and recharge the battery. This results in the car slowing down.

Zoe Battery Recovery (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

Zoe Battery Recovery (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

So, the battery recovery allows the car to slow itself when the road allows, and shows visually as Blue bars.

You will also notice the battery bar on the left gives a visual indication that a recharge is taking place. As a result, your range will sometimes increase the longer the car is moving without acceleration.

ZOE Display (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

ZOE Display (Image: Jo Pegram-Mills)

An especially nice surprise is finishing your journey with more range than you started with. This can actually happen if you dramatically change your driving style during your journey, or if you do short trips. It’s a very satisfying moment and often results in excessive smugness.

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