TURN YOUR ELECTRIC CAR INTO A LONG-RANGE STAR.
To make the range of electric cars comparable between automakers, the official range is always measured in a laboratory, using a legally binding, standardized test cycle. In practice, there are many factors that influence your range.
If you want to get the maximum range from your electric car battery, here are some key factors you need to bear in mind:
1. Driving Style
There are two major factors that affect your range: how fast you drive as well as acceleration and deceleration. Speed plays a big role in your range – this is pure physics. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind: If you double your speed, your range will be halved. As you decelerate in an electric car, you can gain back some of the energy you lost. The Ampera-e, for example, is equipped with a regenerative braking system that transforms brake energy into electricity which is fed back to the battery. All you need to do is to let go of the gas pedal or tap the brakes. There are several levels that will affect how much the battery will recharge.
Take note: You will not recover the same amount of energy from recuperation as you needed to accelerate. It always takes more energy than just cruising along.
Use these driving tips to help extend your range:
- Avoid harsh braking – unless there’s an emergency.
- Turn off sport mode when you don’t need it.
- Don’t rush. Drive at a moderate speed and avoid unnecessary acceleration.
- On the highway: Try to follow a car that drives consistently, like a large truck or mobile home – at a safe distance.
- Plan your route and try to avoid any hills.
Tip: Use the Ampera-e’s different driving modes – which include highway and city – to help you get the most out of regenerative braking. Additionally, the Ampera-e is equipped with a small lever on the left-hand side of the steering wheel. If you press this, you will brake harder returning more electric energy to the battery.
You can improve your driving efficiency by checking your stats on the 10.2” touchscreen or via the myOpel app.
2. Outside Temperature
Extreme temperatures can negatively affect your energy consumption and slash your range. This is especially true on cold days when you want a warm cabin. As there is no heat coming from an internal combustion engine in an electric car, energy to warm the cabin needs to come from the battery instead.
While you can’t influence the weather, there are some things you can still do to influence the range positively:
- Use heating and air conditioning sparingly.
- On cold days, use heated seats instead of blasting the hot air.
3. Additional Weight
The weight of your car affects your cruising range. Luckily, it is up to you, what is on or in your car. So, don't drive water boxes through the neighborhood and please take the golf clubs out of the car trunk - you rarely golf anyway.
So, at the start of each trip, make sure you:
- Remove accessories you don’t need.
- Ensure the trunk and backseats are free of items.
Roof racks are great for transporting gear to your next adventure, but when they’re not in use, they can affect the car’s aerodynamics.
4. Tire pressure
If you ride a bike, you’ll know this already: it’s much easier to drive along when your tires are properly inflated. You’ll feel it less in your legs and lungs because you’re using less energy. The same is true, of course, for cars – whatever the fuel type. This is why it’s important to check your tire pressure at least once a month. If they’re low, head to your nearest service station and top up to the recommended levels.
Tip: Check your Ampera-e’s tire pressure on the display, via the myOpel app or ask your OnStar1 advisor for support.
1The OnStar Services require activation and are subject to mobile network coverage and availability. Charges apply after the free trial period. The OnStar subscription packages could be different from the services included in the free trial package. Some features may not be available for certain carlines or trim levels or OnStar packages. Terms and conditions apply.