5 Tips for Getting the Best Range Out of Your Electric Car

Maximizing the efficiency of your EV's battery isn't so different from getting the most miles per gallon out of your old gas guzzler.

Red Tesla Model 3Tesla


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is definitely a different experience from owning a traditional gas-powered car. Because recharging your battery-powered ride is a bit more complicated than just pulling over at the nearest filling station and swiping your credit card, maximizing driving range may be at the top of the list for many new EV owners.

While you might be hyperaware of your EV's battery range and efficiency, some of the same techniques that get you the best fuel economy in your gas-powered car can apply to one powered by electricity, too.

Here are five tips to get the best range out of your EV.

Drive Slower

Perhaps one of the best parts of driving an EV is the instant torque and zippy acceleration. But the laws of physics still apply, so driving at higher speeds means more drag, which means more electricity used to keep you rolling along. To go as far as possible on a charge, a good rule of thumb is to set your cruise control to the speed limit when it's safe to do so.

Use Eco Mode

If equipped, switching your EV to the Eco drive mode will usually adjust the gas pedal to respond more gently to inputs and make it a bit easier to not zoom off. Depending on the car, Eco mode can make other changes, too. Rivian's Conserve Mode, for example, lowers the R1T pickup's ride height and turns off two of the truck's four motors to maximize range.

Use Maximum Brake Regeneration

Regenerative braking is an electrified-vehicle feature that really matters when it comes to maximizing range. Many EVs allow for one-pedal driving, where lifting off the accelerator begins slowing the car while recharging the battery. You can practice taking full advantage of one-pedal driving if your EV has that feature, and turn your brake regeneration to its maximum setting.

Precondition Your EV While It's Plugged In

Many EVs include a preconditioning feature where you can have your car activate its climate control — either heat or air conditioning — while the car is still plugged in. For example, if you leave for work at the same time every morning, you could have your vehicle get the cabin to 71 degrees Fahrenheit before you set off. This means you use household power rather than the limited supply of battery power to get your car to the right temperature and maximize the available range.

Check Your Tire Pressure and Use the Most Efficient Wheel and Tire Combination

Buy a handheld tire-pressure gauge and check your tires once weekly to ensure they're inflated properly. Low tire pressure reduces range by increasing rolling resistance. You can usually find the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure on a sticker inside the driver's door or in the owner's manual.

If you really want to maximize efficiency, double-check the different wheel options the manufacturer offers to see if there's a difference in range estimates. For example, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range has an EPA-estimated 315-mile range with the 19-inch sport wheels fitted, but the 18-inch aero wheels offer a 333-mile range, according to the company.

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Jordan Golson
Jordan Golson is a transportation reporter covering cars, trains, planes, future cities, mobility and more — basically, if it moves and doesn’t go to space, he's on it. He is especially interested in the intersection of transportation and technology, and that means he goes deep into electric cars, autonomous vehicle tech, sensors, safety, connectivity, and similar topics.