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10 ways to get the best out of your electric car on a holiday road trip

Taking your electric car on a holiday road trip? Reduce your costs and carbon footprint, and make your trip safer with these 10 quick tips.

Think you know most of these pointers already? You might – or maybe not. Either way, a pre-road trip refresher doesn’t hurt, right? (Sometimes I forget to check my tire pressure. Who doesn’t?) Reviewing this short and sweet refresher tip list before you take off for the holidays is a recipe for road trip success:

  1. Charge your battery to a maximum of 80% to extend the lifetime of your battery.
  2. If you’re going on a long-distance trip, you can charge your battery to 100%, but remember to switch back to a max of 80% when you get home.
  3. The healthiest state of charge for your battery is between 30% and 80%.
  4. Supercharging utilizes high currents and temperatures that will strain your battery. There’s no big problem with supercharging multiple times per week, but try to do it only on an as-needed basis.
  5. Charging the last 20% of your EV’s battery could take almost as long as it did to get to the first 80%.
  6. If you drive a Tesla, it’s more efficient to use the car’s navigation even if you know where you’re going. That way your car can prepare itself for charging as you head to the Supercharger.
  7. Remove roof racks or rear racks when you’re not using them, as they create resistance and shorten your driving range.
  8. Try to decelerate as much as possible by using regenerative braking, as it will minimize your energy consumption.
  9. Using your EV’s eco mode will make your accelerations gentler, which saves battery life.
  10. Improperly inflated tires will increase energy consumption and drain your battery.
  11. Try choosing energy-efficient routes in your EV’s navigation system.
  12. Fast acceleration is pretty fun when driving an EV, but remember that it uses up battery power. (Confession: I am so guilty of this. It’s just too much fun to resist.)

If you want to satisfy your data wonkiness and make your trip even more efficient, check out the free EEVEE Driver app (on Android and ioS), which helps EV owners keep track of their charging sessions and related costs by logging charging data. It works with Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Mini, and Ford.

Read more: 3 things I learned on a rural Florida road trip in my Tesla Model 3

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.