Eco Safe Driving Increases EV Range

Eco Safe Driver training in electric car

Driving style has a big affect on EV range as well as fuel economy in a fossil fuelled car. Eco safe driving techniques can increase range showing an average improvement of over 11% with eco safe driver training.

As I sit writing this in Lockdown through the winter of late 2020 and early 2021, and unable to teach, I realise I’ve not been able to asses the true winter range of my 40kW Nissan Leaf as this would be it’s first winter with me.

I was reminded of some eco safe driver training I did for a large organisation last winter as social media has many EV users saying how much their range has dropped in the cold weather. This article has a summary of the results of that training showing how a few eco safe driving tricks can increase range.

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Is An Electric Car Expensive?

Electric car charging using an on street public charger.

There are many perceived barriers preventing people switching to an electric car. One of the biggest is that EVs cost more than a fossil car. They might cost a bit more to buy, however, is total cost of ownership any greater?

Because my car is my business the figures have to add up when buying a new car. So the total cost of ownership in the time the car will be with me is the most important factor and always well researched. So as a comparison the cost of ownership of a Peugeot 208 petrol and electric models has been analysed here and compared here to see which has the lowest cost of ownership.

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Recharging Point Made

EV charging sign

At last the urban charging bay is complete. However, fossil fuelled cars blocking charging bays are a big problem to an EV owner with a low battery. There is a now little plate by the charging space I use saying “Electric vehicle recharging point only” this little piece of metal means ICE cars will get a ticket if they block the space. Portsmouth Council have confirmed this in an email so I shall report ICEing using the myPortsmouth app.

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Urban Baywatch

I’m becoming obsessed with a parking bay! The one I use to charge with the new Ubitricity charging points in Portsmouth. There’s a problem in so much as it’s not quite an EV charging bay yet.

Diesel Van Electric Bay

Just over two months into Nissan Leaf ownership and it’s fabulous. The car is smooth, quiet, fast and the running costs are about 15% of putting petrol in my previous Toyota Auris Hybrid. There’s no way I’d want to go back to an ICE car. Being an early adopter of running EV on public charging in Portsmouth has brought it’s frustrations though. I will say mainly caused by ICE cars but also because Portsmouth City Council seem to have fallen apart completing the on street charging project.

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The Day Portsmouth Launched on Street Charging

Electric Instructor Charging Nissan Leaf

The on street chargers in Portsmouth are being installed. It resulted in me attending a launch for the media at the first charge point installed as well as being interviewed on the radio.

Lamp Posts Charge Cars

This is really good news the charge points are going in. The one across the road from me is still two green paint marks on the kerb with red paint marks on the pavement and lamp post, it should be installed over the next week.

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The Cost of Electricity for an EV

Free EV charging
Free Charging at Ocean Retail Park

Two weeks of running my 30kW Nissan Leaf as a driving school car I’ve got a reasonable idea of the cost of electricity for an EV. I’m using public charging and relying mainly on rapid charging until the roadside chargers are installed by Portsmouth City Council. While a lot of my motivation to run an EV is environmental there has to be a cost saving to make it worthwhile.

In the first two weeks of ownership I’ve done a 137 mile Journey on motorways and dual carriageway, a few local trips with a majority of use being driving lessons. There were two rapid charges on the long trip which were high priced electricity and the rest using Polar chargers in the city.

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A Week of Electric Lessons

It’s been an interesting first week of teaching in my Nissan Leaf electric car. Learners really like driving it and it brings up some interesting thoughts about teaching in EVs and what effect they will have on our roads.

When first encountering the MK1 Leaf Learners are impressed with it’s slightly whacky looks and the high specification interior, it’s the higher Tekna specification with a full leather interior. Turning it on brings up the space age display with lot’s of information about charge and range not seen before in a car and it sings a little tune. The speedo is a large numeric one so easily seen once it’s pointed out. Having come from a hybrid car, my learners are used to silence when pressing the power switch. I don’t really consider it a start button when a motor doesn’t start.

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