Tip #1: Master the regenerative braking system
Regenerative braking is unique to electric vehicles and means that energy is being recuperated and stored in the vehicle’s battery during braking. If you learn to really take advantage of this feature by letting the truck do the braking when slowing down or going downhill, you can feed lots of energy back to the truck and extend its range by up to 35 percent!
Tip #2: Drive smoothly and use cruise control
Yes, we know. An electric truck is so much fun to drive since they accelerate so quickly. However, driving smoothly and focusing on conserving energy is a much better idea if you want to extend its range. And when driving longer distances, cruise control is a more efficient energy-saver than your foot will ever be. The recommendation is not to drive faster than 52 miles/h or 83 km/h. If possible, avoid the highways and choose smaller roads where you can cruise smoothly at a lower speed.
Tip #3: Optimize your route
The shortest route is not always best from an energy consumption point of view. Recent studies show that just by switching focus from distance to how much energy a route requires – you can extend the range by at least 20 percent! Flexible route planning means being able to drop off the heaviest goods at the first stop, avoid uphill roads, look for downhill opportunities and flat roads.
Tip #4: Not too hot, not too cold…
Make sure to optimize the climate in the cab – not too warm and not too cold. However, while turning off your air conditioner adds range, it is a really bad idea to put the windows down to cool you down – that can rob you of ten percent of your driving range! If on the other hand you mainly drive in cold climates, its best to specify the truck from the start with less windows and more isolation.
More tips on how to increase range, including what to think about when specifying the truck, can be found here
Jared Ruiz works as Electromobility Regional Sales Manager at Volvo Trucks North America
Ebba Bergbom Wallin
Ebba Bergbom Wallin works as Commercial Electromobility Manager at Volvo Trucks in Sweden