By the end of 2022, an estimated 3.8% of new motor vehicle sales were electric. That means there are an estimated 130,000 electric vehicles currently on Australian roads that are either battery-powered or hybrid.
With more people taking an interest in environmental awareness, electric vehicles (EVs as they’re called) are becoming more popular. But, since EVs make use of a robust battery and type 2 Charger to remain charged, staying mobile can take some getting used to.
Pointers for New EV Drivers
There are several benefits to switching your traditional petrol or diesel-guzzling vehicle to a more environmentally friendly electric or hybrid option.
So, if you’re considering the switch, or you’ve recently become an EV owner, then our list of pointers is a must-read!
1. Always Plan Ahead
The most important aspect of new EV ownership centres around planning ahead. This is simply because you will have to establish where you’re going to charge your vehicle if you’re travelling out of the range of established charging points.
As more charging stations are set up around Australia, it’s becoming easier to charge your vehicle mid-journey. However, while some remote areas are still without stations, it’s important to register with charging apps to help you find routes with stations.
2. Know Your EVs Range
Not all EVs are the same. That said, it’s crucial to understand your EV model’s range and charge rate.
This will tell you how fast your vehicle will charge when you stop at a charging station. Be sure to add this time to your route planning – you may have to leave an hour earlier if you’re on a time-sensitive schedule.
3. Charge At Home
Where possible, charge your vehicle to 80% at home before setting off on your journey.
It’s also recommended to invest in a portable charger that should be fully charged. That way you’ll be able to still charge your vehicle if the station you’re going to is full or faulty.
4. Research EV Charging Connector Types
For the most part, most modern electric vehicles use a connector referred to as a Combined Charging System or CCS. This connector refers to the two plug types that are incorporated into the bigger plug.
CCS is the connector for DC fast charging and facilitates Level 2 charging. While most EVs use a CCS connector, some models don’t. Be sure to check your EV manual for details about the type of charger to opt for.
5. Don’t Charge Over 80%
First-time EV drivers may be tempted to charge their cars to a full 100%. However, since the batteries are lithium-ion variants, it’s recommended to charge to 80% only.
Doing this will enable the EV’s regenerative braking to store the additional 20% as excess kinetic energy. This in turn preserves the overall health of your battery.
6. Consider Different Ranges of Charging Options
It’s worth noting that there are several different options to consider when it comes to charging your EV. When you’re in a hurry, you can opt for a hyper-rapid charging station.
These will charge your car considerably faster than a regular 8-10 amp socket. For travellers with some time to spare, there’s always the option to charge at a hotel overnight.
7. Learn EV Etiquette
Another aspect of EV ownership is to learn etiquette. Some of the more common etiquette pointers to consider include the following:
- Charge, don’t park: Keep in mind that a charging station is not a parking lot. It’s not courteous to park your car at the charging station and head off to do your shopping. You should charge your vehicle as quickly as possible and move along to allow other EV drivers the opportunity to charge their vehicles.
- Look out for the signs: Many charging stations have signs that indicate a specified amount of time you’re allowed to charge your EV. If the sign is for a maximum of two hours, be sure to leave within that time frame.
- Don’t skip the line: As the popularity of EVs grows, it’s only a matter of time before charging stations become full and have actual lines. If you find yourself at a station with an existing line, be sure not to skip ahead of a user who was there before you.
- Avoid unplugging a neighbour: One of the top etiquette rules is to avoid unplugging your neighbour, especially when the vehicle owner isn’t around. Interfering with another person’s EV can lead to damage or even accusations of attempted theft.
- Keep an eye on your vehicle: Be sure to stay near the charging station to see when your vehicle is fully charged so that you can move to regular parking.
Taking the time to research all the different aspects associated with EV ownership will go a long way to making the switch so much easier.
For one thing, knowing when and how to perform the correct charging procedures will keep your vehicle on the road for as long as you need! Also, you’ll help other EV owners if you already understand the etiquette!