Here are Top 10 Life hacks every Electric Vehicle driver should know
As the UK and the world transition to Electric vehicles, you may be in a situation where you would like to use or purchase an Electric Vehicle, whether for yourself or on behalf of your business. We've compiled 10 best hacks we think you should note,
Please note these tips are not extensive, and to be a completely confident electric vehicle driver or work with electric vehicles in your industry, you will need a professional electric vehicle training course.
#Tip 1: Know before you pay
If you are purchasing an electric vehicle for yourself or for your company, it's important to look at 6 critical features, apart from price.
The mnemonic WHIRL can help you remember what to look out for.
Although electric vehicles (EVs) have been produced at scale for over ten years now, many drivers still see EVs as a nascent technology. Therefore, to encourage purchasing, many EV manufacturers have been offering healthy long-lasting warranties, for example as long as 8-years. Look out for car warranties when purchasing EVs for yourself or your business, as it will save you a pinch in costs in the long run.
Currently, plug-in hybrids are one of the best-selling electric vehicle types in the UK, and one of the reasons is the ability to refuel your car in a conventional petrol station, and not rely on an electric charging station. Hence, if you're worried about the range your EV can go, hybrids can relieve you of this issue.
Thirdly, infrastructure and incentives.
Regarding infrastructure, we're talking specifically about charging infrastructure. For example, there are around 740 Tesla superchargers in the UK, but there are of no use if you have no adapter with your non-Tesla electric vehicle. Likewise, the UK has one of the highest proportions of electric vehicle charging stations in Europe, so don't expect as regular a charging port if you're in northern Finland.
Also, regarding incentives, check if your electric vehicle is eligible for tax breaks and grants for your business. We've done an article on plug-in vehicle grants, so take a look at this to guide your decision.
The range is probably the most critical factor when purchasing an EV. Most EVs have a range more than capable to cover the average daily commute in the UK, so in this way, an EV may be perfect for you. However, if your journeys span several counties on a regular basis, you may need to look more carefully, to ensure your day's productivity is not hampered by the purchase of a new electric vehicle.
If you're a regular commuter-driver, and perhaps drive no more than two hours a day to work, there are plenty of sedan and hatchback EVs to choose from. Not so much if you're a builder relying on a pick-up truck. Assess your driving needs and the vehicle types you most use before going into purchasing an Electric vehicle.
Apart from the WHIRL factors, one other aspect to look at is the cost of running an Electric vehicle. Since a driver can avoid commonplace petrol and diesel fuel, many people mistake lectric vehicles to have cheaper running costs. This may not necessarily be the case, given that electric vehicles have their fare share of costs, including your electricity bill, and rental costs should a trip you have planned go beyond the range of the vehicle.
#Tip 2: Get comfortable with preconditioning
Imagine the feeling where you can set the perfect temperature before even entering your vehicle, without spending those precious minutes waiting to be temperature-comfy before you start driving again. That's what pre-conditioning is all about, and a unique advantage to electric vehicles.
Not only will you feel comfortable in the car, but you'd also be doing your car a favour, maximising electric range and prolonging battery life.
You can precondition your electric vehicle by using the car's media system or connected smartphone app. By scheduling your daily departure times, the car will heat or cool to ideal temperature, so you can drive off in comfort.
In short, it's better to pre-condition than to sit and start warming your car from scratch.
#Tip 3: Become a driving mode ninja
In colder weather, electric vehicles use more energy to keep the car driving and the driver warm. Hence, electric vehicles in particular can offer you a broader range of driving modes to get you further during the less welcoming seasons. Electric vehicles generally can include an , an eco-mode, an EV mode and a sport mode. By being able to use all modes competently at the right times can help you become a more efficient and safer electric vehicle driver, letting your battery life last longer.
Eco-mode: Reduces acceleration levels while not changing the vehicle's engine power. This is great for city driving, as you can avoid wasting energy on excess braking, since even regenerative braking systems retain on average 20% of energy lost.
EV mode: This is the most eco-friendly mode, and as the name suggests, only uses energy from the lithium-ion battery in hybrid vehicles. However, this mode does limit electric vehicle power, so should only be used to maximise energy efficiency when moving at max 1mph, for example when pulling in and out of a garage, a road or a car park.
Sport mode: During a few scenarios on the road, a faster acceleration may be a safer option over a gradual one, for example when progressing onto the motorway from a slip road. Hence, take advantage of the sport mode if available, as it will increase the sensitivity of the acceleration pedal, without altering the physical power of the engine.
#Tip 4: Know your points
Before we begin, please ensure you do not use a device handheld while driving on the road, as this will distract your attention. The only way to legally use a phone in the UK while driving is for it to be placed in a hands-free set-up. For
There are various ways you can find the nearest charging points on your journey, even if they may not be the most well mapped on the roads given they are fast expanding. For example, Zap-Map offers you more than 20,000 electric vehicle chargers across the UK, with support on route planning plus an option to pay via the app.
#Tip 5: Charge your electric vehicle at home
If you're eligible, make use of a dedicated home charger. An EV charger at home can give you the following benefits:
- Home chargers can charge up your electric cars rapidly and reliably
- You can schedule your charging time for your car, rather than arriving and having to wait for available space, saving you precious time.
- You can also save on costs if you charge when the electricity rate is at its cheapest.
#Tip 6: Be a cool parker
Park in a cooler area
If parked in a hot area, your electric vehicle's automated temperature control system will needlessly be draining your battery to minimise temperatures for optimal efficiency. Avoid overworking your battery by parking in a cooler area in the first place.
#Tip 7: Charge smart
Avoid fast charging
Fast charging sounds great when your batteries are about to die out. However, this charging method strains your EV battery, reducing its life. Standard charging your EV through scheduling will give your battery 10% more life than fast charging over 8 years.
Get a timed charger - and plug it in
Your battery will degrade if it is either empty or full, while your EV is parked. It's best to keep the charger just above the low mark not to maximum capacity, at a 25% to 75% charge level.
#Tip 8: Know your Etiquette
For a more efficient and hassle-free drive in your electric vehicle in the UK, it's equally important to follow the unwritten rules when out on the road. A lot of this could be broken at a charging space, so here are a few words of caution.
Give priority to BEVs
It's a good idea to have a look around before pulling into a charging space if you're driving a hybrid vehicle. This is because there may be battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that solely rely on charging points to fuel your car.
Don't park if you won't charge
Don't park your car in an electric vehicle charging spot if you are not actively charging your vehicle. Again, another vehicle may need it more than you. Equally, once your charge is complete, move your vehicle away so another user can charge theirs.
Keep it neat
Leave the EV charger in a condition it should be found in. Place the cable neatly back in its holder, and not on the ground. Even better, use a brightly coloured cable protector while charging, so in the unlikely event that people cross the table, they don't trip!
#Tip 9: Use guides
We can give you tips, but as a prospective or current EV user, it's your responsibility to keep up to date with relevant advice. This can help make you make the best decisions for yourself and the business
There is a range of guidance out there that can help you in your journey to become a better Electric vehicle user.
Check out AA's driving advice section on Electric vehicles, and RAC's Electric Vehicle buyer guide. You can also get advice from the SMMT, one of the most influential trading associations in the automotive industry.
Most importantly, a great way to master your knowledge is to undergo a professional training course. Check out our electric vehicle training below.
#Tip 10: Get Electric vehicle training
A lot of the tips we've provided can easily be implemented no matter how comfortable you are with driving EVs
However, this is not everything.
Getting professional electric vehicle training from an approved and accredited training provider is one of the strongest recommendations we can give you.
Such courses give you both online and practical experience for you (and your workforce). Instruction can include how to power up and down an electric vehicle safely, to how to deal with Electric vehicles in complex accidents.
The AWARE Series course is perfect for this, offering you outstanding professional electric vehicle training from industry-leading sound and technology via AWARE Series TV, but also on-site depending on requirements.
Scroll below to find out more.
Click below to find your relevant Electric Vehicle Training course.
✓ Getting DCPC Qualified
All individuals driving vehicles carrying goods, materials or passengers on commercial terms are required to hold a DCPC.
As an AWARE Series course, this course can act as 1 of your 5 7-hour modules as part of the mandatory 35-hour period training you are required to do every 5 years to keep your DCPC.
✓ Basic Electric Vehicle Training
This course helps you understand technologies available, how to power up and down systems safely.
✓ A Roadside & Recovery Professional
Emphasis placed on the safely isolating the vehicle before loading and/or recovering the vehicle. Great for Roadside & Recovery Training.
This course is excellent if you're:
✓ A Roadside & Recovery Professional
Gain the required knowledge to work safely around Electric/Hybrid Vehicles which may have or had damage to their high energy/electrical systems
✓ Learn with Network Training Partnership: The founder of AWARE Series
Network Training Partnership can deliver this course. Network Training Partnership (NTP) is setting the standards in the automotive and logistics industry. Their courses are both designed and delivered by industry experts, going above and beyond the industry expectations.