Electric cars are seeing a resurgence recently, and it won’t take long before everyone is replacing their conventional gasoline-powered ones with hybrid vehicles and fully electric ones. The question remains, however: would it be the same driving an electric car as with a gas-powered car? What are the considerations needed when driving one?
Whether you already have experienced driving an electric car, or you’ve never been behind the wheel of one before, it’s understandable to want to learn more about them. This post helps you tick all the boxes for driving electric vehicles — and even gives out a few tips to help you have a smooth electric ride, too.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Electric Car
This goes without saying, but as with any other vehicle you own, make sure to familiarize yourself with your vehicle. Read the owner’s manual from top to bottom. Never assume anything; always check the manual. This is particularly true if this is the first time you owned (or got to drive) an electric car.
Become familiar with the mobile app that comes with your vehicle and its onboarding system. This step will give you insight into how your vehicle operates within certain conditions. Basic knowledge of electric car troubleshooting would also be a plus, but don’t worry if you don’t know anything about it. As an electric car driver and owner, you will learn in due time.
Don’t Forget Your Driver’s License
Yes, you still need a driver’s license to drive an electric car, so you have to have it ready when you plan to go for a ride. However, you won’t need to bring it along in the future because car manufacturers such as Tesla are starting to integrate drivers’ license cards into electronic chips within their vehicles.
This integration definitely favors drivers. However, for state governments, it has become challenging to issue new licenses to anyone who wishes to drive an electric vehicle on public roads. Now it seems these outdated, magnetic strip drivers’ license cards will entirely disappear given a few years.
Plan Your Trip
It is essential to plan your itinerary to map out charging stations, such as a Tesla charging station. In doing so, it helps to ensure that you are less likely to run out of power in the middle of nowhere. This tip is beneficial when you are planning long trips with your electric car, as you must be familiar with the places where you can charge your vehicle and the type of charging they offer.
Also, consider also the route you are about to take. Are you going on a highway or a regular road? Faster speed is required along most highways, and this can drain your battery faster. If you’re not in a hurry, switching to alternate routes with lower speed limits may help you conserve your car’s battery.
If, however, you choose to travel on a highway, it pays to check first if there are multiple charging stations along the way. This step will allow you to go confidently at full speed, without the fear of accidentally running out of power halfway there.
Factor in Charging Time Into Your Travel Time
It is standard procedure to fully charge your electric car’s battery before going on a trip. However, you will need to stop for a recharge at some point. Allotting charging time and adding it to your estimated travel duration (with an allowance of a few minutes) is realistic, especially since electric cars need charging from as little as 30 minutes to as long as eight hours.
Of course, this depends on the remaining battery percentage of your car. Doing this step helps ensure that you would not be late to your appointments and arrive safely without the need to rush. It also helps to know a few fast-charging locations when planning for a trip, and make sure you include these pit stops in your itinerary.
Brush Up Your Road Safety Knowledge
An electric car is still a moving vehicle, regardless of its fuel, and the driver must bear in mind the road safety measures that apply to gas cars also apply to electric cars.
One does not need to memorize the rules extensively, either; the safety basics will do.
Also, check up on your car’s dash cam and black box before going on a trip, if possible. These technologies help you document what’s on the road, and soon, collect driving data in real-time to prevent vehicular accidents. No matter where you decide to let your EV take you, hopefully these five tips will make your driving experience with electric cars a relatively smooth and enjoyable one overall.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!