A guide to driving an EV in spring

19 / 04 / 2022  |  Driver Guides

The weather’s getting warmer and that’s good news for electric vehicle (EV) drivers like you. We’re leaving the cold behind us, which means you can look forward to brighter days and longer ranges on your vehicle.

In February 2021 it was calculated that in the UK marketplace, the average range of an EV – the distance it could travel on one full charge – was 222 miles in summer and 164 miles in winter. As the days get longer once the clocks go forward, so does your EV’s range! You may have also noticed that your car was taking longer to charge at rapid chargers in cold temperatures. That’s because if your car battery is cold, some of the charging power is used to heat the battery instead of charging it.

For quicker charging times in cold weather, preheat the battery before heading to a rapid charger.

Here are some top tips for driving an EV in spring…

There’s a very good reason that the saying ‘April showers’ exists. Despite the mercury gradually rising, large volumes of rainwater can still pose a significant risk to your EV, and there’s every chance there’ll be plenty of it about in spring.

Be cautious when driving through standing water

The drive units and battery of the car are sealed and won’t be damaged by splashes, however the higher the water level and the longer the car is in it, the higher the risk that the water will affect your car.

The kerb is a handy guide to whether you should drive through a pool of water or not. They’re usually positioned slightly lower than the door on an average family car. If the kerb is fully underwater, then turn around and find another route. If it isn’t, you can attempt to navigate the water slowly and carefully.

Charging in the rain

When it comes to plugging your EV into its charge point, it’s equally as safe to charge an EV in a downpour as it is to drive in one. Charge points are built with protective layers which can withstand all kinds of intrusions from foreign objects, including moisture.

The dangers of potholes

Winter weather will undoubtedly have caused more potholes to appear on UK roads.

The heavy batteries on many EVs are housed towards the bottom of the car. This gives them a low centre of gravity which is useful when driving in slippery conditions, but it can also put them and your suspension in harm’s way if you hit a pothole disguised as a puddle.

The same hazards can affect your tyres, bend your wheel rims and alter your vehicle’s alignment.

To help you deal with potholes, keep a safe distance from other drivers and watch to see if they hit them. This will help you anticipate how you will react to the same stretch of road. Knowing what’s coming will stop you swerving and putting yourself, your passengers and other drivers in danger, too.