Can you get more range from your plug-in hybrid car? It’s not true that the advice changes from vehicle to vehicle. There isn’t a lot of difference between driving a hybrid or PHEV or an EV and driving a car with friction brakes.
You won’t experience the range anxiety associated with fully electric vehicles when you drive a plug-in car. A PHEV’s driving range and efficiency are greatly improved by the gasoline engine paired with the electric system. You can still extend your electric range by using the ten life hacks listed below.
Avoid Hard Braking And Fast Acceleration
The more you accelerate to get moving from a standstill, the faster you will use fuel. The fuel used could be either the electricity generated by the PHEV’s battery pack or gasoline to power the engine. To avoid damaging the battery, it’s better to accelerate slowly and evenly.
Avoid Being A Lead-Foot Driver
Accelerate gently and smoothly
Accelerate at a steady rate and avoid hard acceleration
Allow plenty of space for a smooth brake
When approaching a stop, brake slowly and gently
Use the regenerative brake system to collect energy for the battery
It would be best if you braked easily and smoothly when you are approaching a stop. It is important to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in order to avoid sudden stops or hard braking. The regenerative brake system is available on PHEVs. If you want the best driving range for your car, use the regenerative system.
Slow down – Batteries work better below 60 MPH
If you are driving on a road that has a speed limit above 60 mph, then limiting the PHEV’s speed to this level will improve its energy efficiency. Although speed limits have increased in the last few decades, many automakers still design cars to perform at their best when driving 60 mph.
How Can You Slow Down
If possible, reduce your speed by ten mph
When driving, use your Eco Mode
Use the Sport Mode instead
Allow yourself time to go slower
Department of Energy states that speeds can be reduced by up to 14 percent when they are reduced by ten mph. This doesn’t mean that you should slow down to the point where you are a nuisance to other motorists, but your vehicle will operate at maximum efficiency if you limit your speed to less than 60 mph.
Let your PHEV slow you down naturally – Maximize regenerative braking
Regenerative braking is available on any vehicle that has an electrified drivetrain. The system is usually activated when you lift the accelerator. This turns your plug-in hybrid into an energy generator. The batteries are charged by this energy, which allows your electric range to be extended.
Benefits of Regenerative braking
Electric batteries can be energized by adding energy.
The friction brakes are not needed to slow down the vehicle.
Increased PHEV efficiency
Some PHEVs use a lift-pedal, while others use a single-pedal, which is more effective than friction brakes for slowing the vehicle. Even if the brakes are used, some energy is still recovered and sent to the battery.
Heaters drain battery power
Electric vehicles are less efficient in cold temperatures than they are at regular temperatures. Plug-in hybrids are also affected by this but to a lesser extent. The battery pack is usually responsible for the energy needed to run your heater, reducing your driving range.
How can you reduce the use of heaters
Dress warmly to combat the cold temperatures
Parking your PHEV is easy in the garage
Use the heated steering wheel and seats instead of the heater in the vehicle.
It takes much less energy to heat the seats and steering wheel than to heat the cabin to a comfortable level. If your PHEV vehicle is parked inside a garage, you will not need to use a heater to clear the windows of ice or snow.
Your Plug-In Hybrid Is Your Enemy if You Limit the AC
It may seem impossible to drive a plug-in hybrid during the summer heat without using the air conditioner. If you like a nice breeze in your car, it is more efficient to open a few windows. Air conditioning drains battery power quickly, so you’re left with only the gas engine to drive your vehicle.
When should you use your AC
When temperatures are unbearable
Open windows can cause more drag when driving at higher speeds
When you want to avoid sweating
It is best to use your air conditioner while your vehicle is plugged into a power outlet. This will allow your PHEV both to cool and charge. Pre-cooling is a great way to beat the extreme heat of summer.
Tires – Tires that win races and improve driving range
The line “tires win races” is famously uttered in the movie “Days of Thunder.” We’re not saying you should take your PHEV to the track to do a fast lap. However, tires and their condition are one of the best ways to make sure you get maximum driving range from your vehicle.
Create A Tire Care Schedule
Check the inflation rate at least once per month.
When checking tire inflation, inspect the tread on the tires to ensure they are in good condition.
Check your tires when the temperature changes by 10°.
Set an alarm or calendar to remind you to check your tire pressure
The only part of the car that touches the ground is the tire. Experts say that proper inflation is crucial, yet more than 25 percent of vehicles on the road are not properly inflated. Tire pressure monitoring systems are available on some cars and alert drivers when a tire is not properly inflated.
Avoid putting unnecessary items in your vehicle
Why is there a Christmas Tree in your trunk? Are you going to use the camp chairs this coming week? Do you have room in your box to store a few groceries? You may be carrying 100 pounds or more of unnecessary cargo. This cargo reduces the efficiency in your PHEV between 1-2% for every 100 pounds.
Junk in the trunk
You forgot to bring in your donation items
Folding camp chairs
It’s fine to have an emergency kit in your trunk if you need it, but don’t put your entire house there. It’s time to clear out the rear compartment if you cannot fit your child’s school backpack or some groceries.
Avoid the Accessories and Keep Your PHEV aerodynamic
Some vehicle accessories can be useful, but they will reduce the range of your plug-in hybrid vehicle. You’ll have to decide what you want and need in your car. It’s great for a long road trip with your parents, but it shouldn’t be in your vehicle when you are driving.
What Accessories Reduce Efficiency
Here are just a few accessories that can reduce your PHEV’s overall efficiency. To get the most driving range, you’ll want to avoid installing exterior items that aren’t used every day. You can use the things when you need them and then take them off.