Urgent warning to EV drivers over AC mistake in the summer – it'll drain your battery & leave you stranded | The Sun

ELECTRIC car drivers have been warned about  an air-conditioning mistake in the summer that could drain your battery and leave you stranded.

Drivers who have been behind the wheel of EVs for years have given their top tips and hacks which could save you money and prevent problems.

During the summer months temperatures do rise meaning more people will reach for the AC in order to keep cool.

Although using the AC in an electric car can reduce the vehicles range, with experts saying by as much as 17 per cent.

Bristol resident Cameron, who drives a Kia e-Niro and parks it on a sunny driveway told ZapMap: “The overall range is slightly lower.

“It’s so hot it’s taking more to cool the car down.”

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With a reduced mileage, drivers run the risk of getting stranded if they run out of juice from the battery.

There is some good new though in that many new electric cars have preconditioning.

This allows the driver to cool down their car before setting off and so having to drain the battery while out and about.

EV drivers are also advised to keep an eye on their tyres as the higher summer temperatures can affect tyre pressure.

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Paul Amess, who has been driving an electric car since 2016, and currently drives a Nissan Leaf MkII, said: “Check those tyres.

“Not only will an incorrect tyre pressure reduce the range that your car is capable of, it will also cause unnecessary wear and tear to the tyres and might even affect the handling of the vehicle.”

The experts advise you check your tyres once a month and before setting off on a longer trip.

Looking after an EVs battery is also a must in the warmer months.

The lithium-ion batteries in an electric vehicle work at their most efficient in temperatures between 20-25C.

In extreme temperatures, the heat can both reduce range and even damage the battery.

Generally speaking, warmer weather tends to reduce charging times although if the battery overheats, the charging speed can decrease or even stop completely, as a safety measure.

If possible, move your car into a shady parking spot as this will help overheating.

It might also be better to charge overnight, or in the early morning and late evening, when temperatures dip.

The advice is also to avoid driving during the hottest part of the day, usually between noon and 3pm, if possible.

Another top tip, particularly for hot weather, is to only charge your EV to 80 per cent, which will prolong the car’s battery.

Gill Nowell, head of EV at LV= General Insurance and ElectriX said: “Most electric car drivers only charge their car once a week or so, and many just ‘top up’ rather than wait until the car is almost out of electrons.

“It’s a good idea to keep your car charged to about 80 per cent, to keep the battery in a good state of health.”

Charging your battery to 100 per cent can make it overheat, causing cell degradation and the lithium cells lose their ability to charge at their original rate.

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Paul also says to declutter your car, saying if your vehicle is carrying extra weight, it only makes the car use more power – which applies equally to EVs and petrol-powered motors.

Anyone going on a longer journey is also advised to plan your route, making note of the charging stops along the way and to prevent overheating in hot weather, hopefully there is some shelter from the sun.

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