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Range Concerns?

 

In an all-electric car, getting to your destination can require a bit more planning than it would with an internal-combustion equivalent. It's a valid concern that many people share, however, it's not as scary as you might think!

First, you need to know how much range you're working with. The EPA-rated range is a good indicator of what your car can achieve, but as with gasoline cars and fuel economy, the range will vary in real-world use depending on a variety of factors, such as driving style and road conditions. All EVs include some form of range meter, but these can be optimistic; you'll get a better idea of that after driving the car for a while. These projections typically change in real time, giving you an idea of how driving behavior or conditions are impacting range. Don't be surprised if the meter plummets when you floor the throttle. You can't control everything about your electrified vehicle's range, but here are some things you can affect.

Be diligent with the throttle. It's common sense, but if you're constantly hammering the throttle, your vehicle range will be negatively impacted. Whenever possible, ease on and off the gas.

Use climate control conservatively. Cranking the A/C may seem like a minor draw on your car's energy supply, but in an EV, it can make a big difference. If you can tolerate a slightly higher temp, there are mileage gains to be had.

Plan the most efficient drive route. Another no-brainer, perhaps, but keep the detours to a minimum and heed Google Maps' (or whichever app you prefer) route guidance.

Strategize drive modes. Most electric vehicles offer two or more drive modes to optimize efficiency or performance. If you don't mind lethargic throttle response, choose the Eco mode (or equivalent) to squeak out a few extra miles per charge.

Use the right tires. We don't have to tell you that cruising around on bald tires is a bad idea, but you might not be aware that wider tires can put a drag on efficiency. More tread in contact with the ground means greater friction. If you were racing, you'd love that friction, but when you're looking for maximum range, you want narrower tires (within reason) and ideally ones made from an efficient compound.

What charger will I need to charge my vehicle?
There are a variety of chargers out there in the market today, but the most common is still the SAE J1772. The SAE J1772, also known as a 'J Plug' is the North American standard for electric vehicles maintained by the SAE International. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) wanted to set a standard that covered the physical, electrical, communication, and performance requirements for EVs. This standard can power every single electric vehicle on the market, however, certain vehicles may have a different charge ports in which case you may need an adapter.

How easy is it to install a charger at home?

Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, installing a charger at your place of residence is probably a lot easier than you may think! In fact, there are multiple home charging options available. A home charging station is essential for every electric-car owner, and should take care of most charging needs for short, local trips. Several companies make 240-volt, Level 2 AC charging stations that allow you to replenish your car at home in a reasonable amount of time. A 240V charging station will allow you to charge your electric overnight. A quick consultation with your local electrician can get you set up and ready to go in under a few hours without putting a dent in your pocket! The long-term savings alone are more than worth it.

How often do you take road trips?
On average, most Canadians take between 2 to 6 road trips per year. Many companies are adding the necessary infrastructure to add additional charging stations and facilitate the growing trend of EVs as the automotive industry is shifting towards greener power. Taking road trips are becoming easier, cleaner, and a lot more fun! We'd be surprised if there weren't as many charging stations as there are gas stations in just a few years!

What is your typical commute on a daily basis?
According to a recent survey, the average Canadian commutes just 35 kms on weekdays, including non-commute driving. This amount of daily driving can be handled even by first-generation compact EVs, available for under $10,000 on the pre-owned market. Of course this figure can vary depending on your situation, however with modern EVs easily exceeding 100+ kms on a single charge (some even as far as 200+), running out of juice on your way home should be an afterthought. The ability to charge your EV overnight is clean, convenient, and much more cost effective. Simply plug in your car as you would your cellphone and wake up to your fully-charged EV and get ready for the day ahead! A level 2 charger in your home can even speed up the process!