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What Factors Affect EV Range?

Published on
October 31, 2022
What Factors Affect EV Range?

As the world of transport develops, more and more types of EV’s are becoming available. But what affects their range?

The battery size of the car, expressed in kWh, is one of the most crucial aspects to consider when estimating how far an electric vehicle can travel. Simply said, the more kWh a car has, the more kilometres it can typically go on a single charge.

Electric car batteries degrade over time, much like every other battery in your life, whether it be in your phone, laptop, or tablet. This is due to the fact that practically all electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which naturally deteriorate as they undergo charging and discharging cycles. However, they are what power your electric vehicle.

Today's electric vehicles can typically go between 150 to 300 miles on a single charge, which ought to be plenty for both casual drivers and those who commute considerable distance for work on a daily basis.

The size of the battery, the size and aerodynamics of the vehicle, the effectiveness of the battery's heating system, and the weather conditions all affect vehicle range. Therefore, it is quite natural for an electric car to get further on a single charge on a warm summer day than it would on a very cold winter day. The same is true for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE), whose miles per gallon performance is influenced by environmental conditions like the outside temperature.

Age of battery

The battery's range is an indicator of its current capacity. The range of an electric vehicle will decrease with age, just like any battery powered item, the age of the battery will have an effect on the functionality of the item. If something has a brand new battery it will work exceptionally well, but if something has an old battery its functionality won’t be as good.

According to an American research, energy storage is losing value on average by 2.3 percent annually. Accordingly, a 150-mile electric car will lose 17 miles of usable range after five years. Later years see a slower rate of decrease.

Driving Style and External Factors

High speeds (65+ MPH) impair the efficiency of an electric vehicle. This is because the electric motor must put in more effort as you drive quicker. Therefore, as a general rule, the quicker you drive and faster you accelerate, the lesser the EV range you will have.

Wind, namely headwind, is another element that impacts the range of electric vehicles. The vehicle encounters greater resistance the stronger the headwind, and so the motor needs to work more to offset the detrimental effect. This is why many EV cars have a more distinct shape compared to a traditional petrol or diesel car, to improve aerodynamics.

EV batteries dislike the cold. This is because they require a neutral temperature to function to their optimum. Loss of range will come from extreme cold or heat. Likewise, use of the car heating or air conditioning will have a big impact on the EV range of the vehicle.

The battery will need to utilise energy to heat itself up in cold environments. An ICE car's engine block produces a significant quantity of heat (that is dissipated to the environment), which can heat the interior, the fuel, or other components and operations of the vehicle. The ICE vehicle naturally heats up for best performance. In an EV, the heat required to warm vital components and operations must be produced utilising battery power.

Size of Battery

Generally speaking, you can travel farther the larger the battery is (measured in kWh).  Nevertheless, a larger battery would add weight, which is why smaller batteries are used in vehicles like the Honda e and Mini Electric.

Although there are many other considerations to make when purchasing an electric car, range is and will always be one of them.

How Can I Get the Most Range From My EV?

Like other cars, how you operate the vehicle affects its reliability and range. Since air pressure and rolling resistance rapidly rise as speed increases, top speed often has the most impact on range and efficiency.

The majority of electric cars include regenerative braking, which slows down the vehicle when you let off the accelerator and produces power to deposit in the battery as the vehicle decelerates. Increased usage of this function will increase range, so be aware of how to activate it and take advantage of it by coming to a stop earlier and pulling off the accelerator when approaching junctions and traffic lights, etc.

If you're considering making the transition, try our free Manta Power EV Fuel Savings Calculator to see how much you could save on your annual operating costs by going electric.

As long as you take care of your EV it will last through the years. Don’t fret to get in touch if you have any questions.

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