June 22, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring an Electric Car

Thinking about hiring an electric car this winter? If you’re not yet familiar with the electric experience, then you might easily be taken by surprise. Let’s take a look at some of the things worth bearing in mind.

Planning your trip

A trip in an electric car requires a little more forethought and planning than a trip powered by a traditional internal combustion engine. You’ll need to have an idea of where you’re going to be charging along the way, and how long you’ll be spending at each stop. Many modern electric cars benefit from rapid charging, which means you’ll be able to top up the charge in the time it takes to stop for a bite to eat. In other cases, you’ll want to charge overnight.

Make sure that you aren’t relying on any single charging station, and that there are alternatives lined up for when things go wrong. If you can’t charge, then it’s a near certainty that your journey will be disrupted.

One thing to bear in mind here is that batteries do not charge evenly. You’ll get faster charging during the first 80% of the battery than you will during the last 20%. It’s better to frequently top up than it is to try to charge it all the way in a single sitting.

Insurance is something you’ll also need to consider. Short-term car insurance might be the best way forward for many motorists.

Don’t neglect battery maintenance

Electric cars draw their power from lithium-ion batteries. One thing to bear in mind if you’re driving in winter is the impact that cold weather can have on performance. Not only will the battery provide less power, but it’ll also lose its charge more quickly.

Before getting started on any given trip, you should pre-condition the interior and the battery. This will draw power from the mains to get the battery to the optimal driving temperature.

Do check weather conditions

Whichever sort of car you’re driving, winter makes extreme weather more likely. Make sure that you check the weather before heading out for your trip. That way, you won’t be caught out by snow and ice on the road. In most cases, it’s a good idea to set out early for any given journey – that way, you won’t be tempted to take unnecessary risks on the road.

Don’t Overlook Range Considerations

Even if we pre-condition the battery, it’s likely that the lower temperatures will bring down the range of the vehicle. Not only that, but at this time of year we tend to make more use of the heating systems, which draw their power from the battery.

Make sure that you have a good idea of the vehicle’s range, and be conservative when you’re planning your journey. You don’t want to end up stranded during winter!