What you should know when switching to an electric car

15 tips for EV newcomers

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It's finally here - the first electric car of your own. It is quieter than a car with a combustion engine, usually speeds up better and makes visits to the petrol pump superfluous. But if you want to get the most out of your electric car in everyday life, you should know its characteristics. Here are the 15 most important tips for new EV users.

Tip 1: Pay attention to the battery level

As a general rule, you should not leave your electric car with a battery charge of less than 10 % or more than 90 %. This damages the battery over a longer period of time. Therefore, charge in time and set a maximum charge limit of 80-90 % for everyday use.

Tip 2: Schedule charging and pre-condition the car

It is optimal if the battery reaches the desired charge level exactly at the start of the journey. This can often be programmed via the EV itself or the wallbox. Especially in winter, the car should also be pre-air-conditioned while charging at the start of the journey. This protects the battery, increases the range - and can even save energy.

Tip 3: Use the app

If the EV has its own app, you should definitely get to know it! You can learn about additional functions and optimise the range, for example.  The same applies to wallbox apps (such as our KEBA eMobility App). These also often offer features for optimising charging processes and more.

Tip 4: Know the charging points 

It is very helpful to know about charging stations in places where you spend a lot of time: e.g. at home, at work, while shopping or doing sports.  The basic rule for an electric car is: when it's parked, it's charging. So charging always happens on the side.

Tip 5: Fast charging only on the long haul 

If possible, you should avoid fast chargers on short journeys.  They are good for long journeys, but they are usually more expensive than slow chargers and put more strain on the battery in the long run. Therefore: Charge as much as possible with AC at a wallbox.

Tip 6: Drive with foresight 

Drive with foresight and as smoothly as possible!  Although there is recuperation in an electric car (unlike in a combustion engine), you only recover about 60 % of the energy that you draw from the battery when you speed up. Accelerating and braking too hard costs range even in electric cars as well.

Tip 7: Check tyre pressure 

In any case, you should regularly check the air pressure in your tyres!  With an electric car, underinflation is more noticeable than with a combustion engine. 

Tip 8: Rarely charge to 100 

If you are planning another trip, you can charge the battery to 100% once - in contrast to the daily short trip.  It is best to schedule the charging process so that the battery is full exactly at the start. 

Tip 9: Plan long distances 

Your first longer trip with an EV is coming up?  To be able to start with peace of mind, you should plan the route and the charging stops. To do this, use either apps or the car navigation system - and plan more stops first to get to know your car.

Tip 10:  Pre-condition the battery

If the route planning leads you to a fast charger, it is an advantage if the battery arrives there at its comfortable temperature: preheating in winter in particular ensures higher charging speeds.  More and more EVs do this automatically if the charging station is on the route in the navigation system. Others have to be preheated manually, and some (older) models cannot be preheated at all.

Tip 11: Have the right charging cards ready 

It is very important to have the right charging cards for the targeted charging stations.  Or the other way round: you only charge at the points where you can safely charge with your own charging cards. That's why it's helpful to check out the charging stations along the route on the web before a trip. 

Tip 12: Head for large loading parks 

For your first trips with an e-car, you should ideally look for larger charging parks with many stations.  Then there is a high probability that you will get a free spot and can continue your journey more quickly. 

Tip 13: Use the charging speed of your EV 

Especially on long-distance journeys, it is important to use charging stations that are suitable for your electric car:  If the car can charge at 150 kW, for example, a stop at a 50 kW charger will naturally cost more time than necessary.

Tip 14: Search for charging points at your destination 

If you are going on holiday with your EV, you should look for charging stations at your destination, e.g. hotels with a wallbox.  This saves time on the onward or return journey and is easy on the nerves.

Tip 15: Keep an eye on speed 

Especially when driving on the motorway, you should be aware of one thing:  With an electric car, energy consumption increases more with speed than with a combustion engine. So for more range, it's better to get off the electric pedal. 

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