Are you going to make your first long trip in an electric car or are you considering it, but you have doubts? On our roads there are more and more electric cars and although they are popularly considered more practical for an urban environment, outside of that habitat they are also very capable of coping without conditioning our vacations.
However, as happens when we travel with a combustion car, traveling by electric car requires minimal planning and certain considerations to take into account to avoid unforeseen events as far as possible. More, if it is a long trip.
Before leaving, do a review of the key elements of the car
Set the car ready before leaving To do kilometers and review its most important elements to travel with more peace of mind and preserve safety, should be one of the first aspects to take into account when we start to organize our trip by electric car.
Due to their characteristics, the periodic inspections and maintenance of electric vehicles will be slightly different from what should be done with other types of vehicle.
Regarding diesel or gasoline cars, electric cars generally have a easier maintenance, since its mechanics have fewer elements susceptible to wear.
Its complexity comes from the hand of other aspects far from maintenance such as battery management, thermal management or its efficiency.
In this sense, there are differentiating aspects of the maintenance of an electric car that we cannot review ourselves, such as checking the condition and correct insulation of all the car electrical connections (especially those that affect the high voltage part). That is to say, all those that enter and leave the traction battery.
For this type of work it is necessary to have specific equipment and a technician specialized in electric cars. As with combustion cars, the recommended revisions are programmed by the manufacturers themselves and are specified in the vehicle manuals.
However, and beyond its mechanical architecture, an electric vehicle shares many elements with a combustion car that must be replaced at some point. for its wear or degradation like tires, shock absorbers, windshield wipers, optics … or brakes.
The latter (although it will always depend to a great extent on our type of driving) thanks to regenerative braking they have a less intensive use in electric vehicles, and therefore the useful life of discs and pads is significantly lengthened.
It must be verified both that the pressure is adequate and that the tire tread is in good condition. With a tread depth of the tire below 2 mm, for safety, it is already recommended to change them.
Remember that, below the legal minimum of 1.6 mm can be considered as a serious offense, which entails a fine of 200 euros for each defective rubber.
Fines aside, driving with a tire in poor condition is a practice that puts us at risk unnecessarily. Also watch out for specific deformations (for example, as a result of a curb) and / or the flatspot.
For his part, brake fluid it should be replaced on the same temporary fork as that of a thermal model: before going on a trip you must check (cold and flat) that it is level. Also check the windshield wiper fluid and that the brushes are in good condition.
Another fundamental element for the car and that can be checked quickly is the direction: You should not notice looseness, noise, vibrations, or abnormal hardness when turning. Finally, we must also check that the air conditioning works in perfect condition.
Plan your route well and have the charging points located
Once our car has passed the pertinent reviews and is ready to take a trip, before leaving the best thing to do is fully recharge the batteries, at home or at work, for example. And to make it cheaper, these are the best times to do it.
In addition, it is essential that we have a clear path. Ideally, check the charging points or stations that we will find on the way before reaching our destination, and have them located alternative points in case the first option fails due to any circumstance.
The autonomy of the electric cars that we already find on the market is increasing. Depending on our car and our destination, we can leave with the car battery at 100% and have to stop to recharge only once or twice in the case of longer trips.
In Spain there are already 7,813 public charging points and according to data from Electromaps, in our neighboring countries we find 12,054 points in France and 2,433 in Portugal.
To know how many times you have to stop to recharge, you can make a simple calculation: if the route exceeds the 80% of the autonomy of our car – You always have to leave a margin – it is best to stop to recharge halfway to avoid unforeseen events and arrive at our destination with enough charge to be able to make short trips before plugging it back into the power.
Once we know the charging points that we will find on our route, and we have made an estimate of how many times we will have to stop, we can choose where.
Either in a charging station on the road, or even diverting to some place of interest or town that we want to visit, we can take the opportunity to load the car quietly while we stretch our legs or stop to eat (remember that, according to the DGT, the minimum is to do at least one stop every two hours to rest).
With its own applications offered by brands such as Kia Charge for Kia electrics, Hyundai Bluelink, Ford Pass in the case of Ford, Easy Charging for SEAT and CUPRA and a long etcetera; or others such as Repsol (Waylet), Endesa (JuicePass), or Plugsurfing we can consult a wide online directory of charging points, with detailed information on the cost of energy, the method of payment, availability and even types of compatible connectors .
On our route, it will be usual with different charging points that, depending on their power, will give us an estimated recharging time.
For example, an e-Niro with a 64 kWh battery charges from 10 to 80% in 54 minutes with a fast charger of 80 kW or higher; the model with the 39.2 kWh battery performs the same operation in 57 minutes with a 50 kW or higher quick charger.
Efficient driving is the key during the journey
During the trip, in addition to adapting our speed to the maximum recommended by type of road and depending on the weather and the weather, we must not forget that driving efficiently will always be the most advisable.
It is about changing the chip and making efficient driving not only understood as a type of driving designed to achieve low energy consumption, but also seeking greater driving comfort and a reduction in risks on the road.
In general, to drive efficiently the keys are: avoid unnecessary acceleration and sudden braking, seek a constant speed and a sufficient safety distance that allows us to react without abruptness to any unforeseen event and also make the most of the inertia and benefits of the regenerative braking system that equips this type of vehicle to increase our autonomy.
However, in addition to our driving style, our energy consumption at the wheel will be influenced by many other factors, such as the type of road, the tire pressure, the load we carry, the use we make of the air conditioning, etc.
Therefore, a practical tip to remember is that as in any other type of vehicle, we must load only the essential luggage in the car. In addition, we must place it correctly in the trunk and not leave loose objects in the passenger compartment to avoid the dangerous elephant effect.
Another tip to save energy to travel with an electric car is to turn on the air conditioning of the car before getting into it. In this way, we will not waste extra energy and we will start with the ideal temperature of the battery, which will also help us save energy. In some cases, this action can be carried out with the mobile phone.
Finally, we must remember that if during our road trip we had a breakdown or an emergency, or if we were the first witnesses of an accident, we must not forget how to act and apply the PAS protocol in the shortest possible time: Protect, Warn and Help.
Once we have arrived at the destination, if we do not have our own plug in our accommodation to carry out the charges we need, we can look for nearby alternatives such as hotels (many of them already have semi-fast charging points), supermarkets, shopping centers and even some Beaches.
In Motorpasión | Traveling with children in the car: safety tips guide with everything you need to know