In the first quarter of 2022, electric vehicle (EV) sales came to 2 million — a 75% increase when compared to the first three months of 2021. While the environmentally friendly benefits of owning an EV can be a major benefit to families looking to go green, there’s no question that driving an electric vehicle can be quite different from a traditional car. From how you can improve your EV’s range to nailing down a charging routine, here are just three smart tips to help you make the most out of your new purchase.

Improving the range of your EV

For new EV owners, ‘range anxiety’ can leave many feeling constantly stressed about hitting a 0% charge, or worrying about not finding a charging station in time. However, Forbes notes that enormous progress has been made when it comes to promises in providing EV drivers with the infrastructure they need, and the use of more powerful batteries in fully electric cars are being rolled out to match the range of gas-powered cars. However, it’s important to note that you can improve the efficiency of your EV, much like you would with a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Removing excess weight and keeping up with maintenance (as well as ensuring that the tires are properly inflated) are just a few ways to do so. While driving at or below the speed limit will help in extending the range, using ‘eco-mode’ (if available) can work to improve the efficiency of your EV by using powertrain software, which smooths out acceleration/deceleration (which works to save and regenerate battery power). 

Good charging habits

When looking to get the most of your new EV, knowing how to properly charge it will keep the battery in good health. It’s important to note that the same battery could have a different life span or performance depending on the vehicle it’s used in, though there are some general tips worth keeping in mind to maintain the battery’s overall health. “Definitely across the board you don’t want to fully charge it or fully deplete it,” says Qichao Hu, an alum of Harvard and MIT, and the founder and CEO of SES, a Massachusetts-based battery research company and supplier to the EV industry. While the Wired article goes on to explain that EVs are getting smarter about managing battery health, Hu notes that avoiding below 10% and more than 90% is a good rule of thumb to go by, also stating that “You don’t want to go from fully charged to fully empty.” Hu goes on to tell Wired that charging an EV in cold weather can shorten the lifespan of its battery, and can even lead to damage, suggesting driving around to warm up the vehicle first. 

EV maintenance 

While owning an EV generally translates to less maintenance than a traditional, gas-powered vehicle, it’s still just as important to consult your owner’s manual as a maintenance resource. AAA points out that within the first 100,000 miles, there are a variety of maintenance tasks to keep up with. For example, in addition to making sure that your tires are always properly inflated and rotated every 7,500 miles, you’ll want to change your windshield wipers every six to nine months, change the cabin air filters every two years (22,500 miles), and replace the brake fluid every five years, notes the site. Regularly ensuring that you’re keeping up with other required services, particularly when it comes to inspections regarding aspects like the brake system, power steering, suspension and chassis components are additional necessities, according to AAA. 

Investing in an EV is a great way to transition your family into a more eco-friendly lifestyle, though the change can leave many feeling overwhelmed, especially when considering the differences between an EV and your old vehicle. By understanding the best way to charge and get the most range out of your new vehicle — and the basics involved with EV maintenance, you can make the transition to electric easier.