If you already know how to drive a car, driving an electric car shouldn’t be too difficult. Traditional cars and electric ones have much in common, after all.
But there are some differences between the two, and you need to know them. Charging an electric car, for example, might be more difficult than stopping at a gas station to fill up the tank. However, if you live in an area with plenty of charging stations, this shouldn’t be too big an issue.
If you’ve been wondering how to drive an electric car and how it differs from a gas-powered one, this is for you.
Precondition your electric car while it’s still charging
Before driving an electric car, you should pre-condition it. You should let the car’s battery and interior reach the right temperature before driving.
In the summer, turn on the air conditioning. In the winter, turn on the heating and shut it off when your electric car’s interior reaches a comfortable temperature.
Doing this while your car still charges preserves energy and maximizes driving range. It’s best to leave your home with a fully charged battery and not use climate control while driving unless necessary.
Press a button instead of turning a key in the ignition
When you sit in the driver’s seat of your electric car, most of the controls will feel familiar. One important difference is that instead of starting your electric car by turning a key in the ignition, you press the “Start” button.
So when you’re ready, place your foot on the brake pedal and push that button. The car’s display screen will light up, and its engine will start. You can select your drive setting, place your foot on the accelerator pedal, and start driving.
You’ll immediately notice that your electric car is much quieter than a regular car.
Familiarize yourself with public charging stations
Charging your electric car is not that complicated. All you need is to find suitable commercial EV chargers. However, you need to always pay attention to your battery level and know where to find public charging stations.
Of course, you can charge your car at home, but you will need public charging stations eventually depending on where you’re heading.
You should also know that depending on the model of your electric car, the charging port could be on the rear left or right panel. It could also be built into the hood, or right in front of the driver’s door.
Try making a smooth start
Electric cars accelerate very quickly. From the moment you touch the accelerator pedal, you will experience instant torque, which might catch you off guard at first. So be careful and start slowly.
Rapid starts might sound tempting, but they reduce your car’s driving range.
Electric cars feature single-speed transmissions. There is no need for a clutch pedal or a gear shift. Although this will simplify your driving experience, you might need some time to get used to it.
Make the most of regenerative breaking
As you learn how to drive an electric car, you must also learn how to brake. Instead of slamming on the brakes, remove your foot from the accelerator pedal to gradually slow down and stop the car.
If you ever need to suddenly stop your car, apply light pressure on the brake pedal.
Electric cars use regenerative braking, which captures energy whenever the car slows down and redirects it to its battery. So, you extend your driving range when you slow down and brake properly.
Do your best to preserve energy
Besides driving smoothly and using regenerative braking, there are different things you can do to preserve your car’s battery energy.
Remember that all your car’s electronic systems rely on its battery for power. This includes heat, air conditioning, navigation apps, and radio. So, if you want to save some energy as you drive, don’t use these systems unless necessary.
Whenever you charge your car, disconnect it from the charger when it reaches 100%. Plugging it in too long could reduce your battery’s capacity over time.
Make it a habit of planning your route
When you drive an electric car, you need to plan your route before going anywhere. You need to know where to stop and charge your car and how long it should take.
Fortunately, different apps can simplify your life by helping you locate public charging stations in your area.