Electric cars are cheaper to run than vehicles with combustion engines, but you can save even more and cover more miles by driving them in an efficient way. Here are five tips that will help you to eke out the maximum from each charge.

Choose small wheels

Bigger wheels might look better, but the smaller they are, the more fuel-efficient the car is.

According to Auto Club Europa (ACE), tyres that are just one inch smaller can save about one kilowatt hour over a distance of 100 kilometres.

In cars with integrated heat pumps, that saved energy can be enough to warm up the interior.


When you brake in an electric car some of the kinetic energy can be converted into electricity that goes back into the battery.

Conventional braking is only needed when the braking power of the electric motor is insufficient. This so-called recuperation is particularly noticeable in city traffic during stop-and-go driving, but also when driving downhill.

The strength of the engine braking effect can be switched off or adjusted in many cars, ACE says. E-car drivers should familiarise themselves with their vehicle’s settings to ensure that recuperation is used optimally.

Foot off the pedal

Most e-cars recuperate when you take your foot off the accelerator. The degree of recuperation can be adjusted for this too, ACE says.

In some vehicles, the so-called brake mode must be selected, while others have no setting options or even several. Again, a look at the manual will help. And then remember to take your foot off the gas more often.

Proper heating: Less blower, more seat heating

According to ACE, one of the biggest energy guzzlers in an electric car is the heating system so you need to use it wisely. That means using the seat and steering wheel heating systems rather than the hot air blower.

Avoid short trips

Short trips in winter time should be avoided, especially if there are long idle periods in between, German auto association ADAC advises. The reason is that cold ambient temperatures not only cool down the interior quickly, but also the battery.

Both then have to be heated up again when driving — the interior to keep the occupants comfortable, and the battery so as to reach optimum operating temperature.

If you can, you should park your electric car in the garage overnight because extreme cooling of the battery costs range, ADAC says. – dpa

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