How Does Electric Vehicle Range Affect You?

When shopping for an electric vehicle, range is often a top concern. This issue, often referred to as “range anxiety,” can be a huge deterrent for potential purchasers.

As with a gasoline-powered vehicle, an EV’s range is limited by factors that cannot be replicated in EPA testing. These range from battery size to driving style.

Battery Size

Electric vehicle ranges vary based on factors like vehicle weight and size, battery capacity and electric motor specification. By understanding how these parameters impact your range, you can better decide which EV is suitable for you.

When selecting an electric vehicle, range is certainly a major factor to consider. But other aspects like how often you need to recharge and whether your driving style is compatible with an EV’s energy-saving components should also be taken into account. These details will help maximize the vehicle’s range and give you peace of mind while driving it.

Typically, the longer an electric vehicle’s range, the greater its energy capacity. But like gas tanks, battery capacity decreases over time – so even vehicles with the highest capacity might not offer as much range as you think if you’re constantly driving at highway speeds.

Automakers typically recommend charging 80% of your battery capacity for daily driving in order to maximize longevity and reserve a larger percentage for emergencies or times when you know you will need maximum range. Not only does this save you from refuelling at every possible stop, but it also allows you to utilize the rest of the capacity for other uses like powering your home or workplace.

It is essential to remember that your electric vehicle’s battery capacity varies throughout a day, depending on your speed and the weather. For instance, high-efficiency models like the Nissan Leaf may be able to sustain highway speeds for seven hours before needing refilling.

A heavy load, such as a family of four or a full trunk, can significantly reduce range. To this end, automakers have begun packaging electric vehicles (EVs) to fit within their cars’ wheelbase and overall dimensions.

As the technology behind electric batteries advances, they will become cheaper and more efficient. Manufacturers will then be able to produce powerful and long-lasting EV batteries that enable drivers to travel farther on a single charge.


Electric vehicles tend to be heavier than petrol or diesel cars due to the large number of battery cells used for charging them. These must be heavy since they must provide enough power to propel a car from rest to motorway speeds, adding up to 30% extra weight on an electric vehicle.

There are other factors that contribute to making an electric car heavier, such as extra comfort features like plush seats and heating elements. Although these items don’t add significantly weight, they may add up to several hundred pounds in total.

Some electric vehicles (EVs) come equipped with additional equipment that makes them heavier, such as onboard computers and sensors. While these may add several hundred pounds to the weight, these components help make the car safer during crashes by helping detect and avoid accidents.

Heavier electric vehicles (EVs) present a serious safety hazard due to their elevated front ends that make it harder for pedestrians and small cars to see. Furthermore, heavier EVs cause more road and tire wear as well as contribute to fine particle pollution.

A heavier electric vehicle (EV) will typically be less energy-efficient due to reduced battery charge capacity, thus decreasing its range overall.

Another concern is the weight of these vehicles, which could damage roads and bridges more easily than their gasoline or diesel counterparts. This is because heavier cars require more energy to accelerate, potentially shortening the lifespan of roads.

Furthermore, the extra weight of a heavier electric vehicle (EV) can pose problems when towing. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning will be over 1,000 pounds heavier due to their battery pack, making them particularly frustrating if you need to drag something long distance.

Thankfully, some manufacturers are taking steps to address the shortcomings of heavy electric vehicles. For instance, the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 boasts a 210-kWh battery that gives it 329 miles of range – significantly more than what you get with an ordinary gasoline-powered Hummer.

Driving Style

Driving range is one of the primary considerations for car shoppers considering an electric vehicle. Just like gasoline-powered cars, automakers advertise the maximum range their vehicles can travel; however, factors like weather, road conditions and driving style may cause this number to fall significantly short of what the EPA claims.

Beyond the range of the battery, an electric vehicle’s actual power consumption also impacts performance. That is why drivers must optimize their energy use to extend the vehicle’s range and keep charging costs low.

Drivers should utilize the regenerative braking capabilities of their electric vehicle (EV) in order to conserve energy during acceleration – this practice is known as “eco-driving.”

One way to reduce energy consumption while driving is by maintaining slow speeds instead of high ones. This is especially useful on motorways where passing cars requires regenerative braking which uses up a lot more energy than normal acceleration.

It is best to avoid harsh braking, since this can reduce the battery’s capacity and decrease efficiency. In fact, high deceleration forces may even decrease an electric car’s range by as much as 17% when traveling at highway speeds (see Fig. 1).

The topography of the road and driving conditions have an effect on an electric vehicle’s power consumption, as do the number of passengers and weight in the trunk. Furthermore, steep inclines require more battery energy than flat terrain does.

Frequent drivers may find it beneficial to occasionally adjust their driving style. This is especially useful during long trips, when you may feel compelled to speed up for fear of running out of charge in remote places or being late for work.

A beneficial way to do this is by taking a break and stretching, then driving for several minutes before returning to your regular routine. Doing this helps prevent drowsy driving, which is just as hazardous as drunken driving.

Additionally, lumbar support cushions and headrests can help alleviate the strain of prolonged driving on shoulders and necks. This is especially beneficial for people with back problems or older individuals who tend to get fatigued more easily.

Charging Time

When charging an electric vehicle (EV) at home or at a public charging station, the time it takes will depend on several factors. These include battery size, the speed of the charging point, and your maximum charging rate.

Battery size, of course, dictates how far an electric vehicle (EV) can travel on a single charge. A larger battery means longer between charges; however, your range will also depend on how often you drive and where you live.

If you live in an area with cold temperatures, charging your vehicle may take longer due to the higher need for heat to bring its cabin and battery up to temperature. Additionally, this affects how much energy is used per cycle, decreasing how many miles can be covered on one charge.

For electric vehicles (EVs), the fastest way to charge is with a direct current (DC) fast charger, which can get your battery to 80% in 30-60 minutes. Utilizing a Level 2 charging point may take more time while using a Tesla Supercharger will typically take eight hours to fully charge your EV’s battery pack.

As a general guideline, divide the battery capacity of your vehicle (measured in kWh) by the power rating of your onboard charger and add 10%. You may also use an online tool to estimate how long it will take to fully charge at optimal rates.

One way to reduce charging time is by not using high-energy components in your vehicle, such as the heater or air conditioner. Much of the energy used for heating a vehicle is not essential for driving, so cutting back on usage can help save money and reduce range requirements.

If you’re a busy professional who doesn’t have time to stop at public chargers, consider using a home charging system. Most electric vehicles (EVs) have enough range that they can be fully charged from home overnight. This can be an economical choice for most people and especially useful if your battery-powered vehicle isn’t large or bulky.