If you’re a beginner in all things automotive, then there are so many terminologies you’re expected to hear. One of them is range. So, what does range mean in a car? Now, if you happen to ask someone about the meaning of range, most of them will argue it’s the distance between refueling points. At some point, I would say you’re right.
However, when it comes to its original description, range or rather a fuel range describes the maximum distance you can drive with a specific fuel capacity. In reference to electric vehicles, range refers to the maximum distance you can drive with a single charge without recharging your vehicle during the trip.
Now, if you’re driving a newer model car, you’ll see a range meter on the dashboard. Prior to reading this post, I believe you might have wondered what this measurement meant. Actually, this is a very crucial calculator that indicates how many miles you’ll expect to drive with the available fuel in the fuel tank. So, in this post, we’re going to discuss factors that affect fuel range in both electric and gas-powered vehicles and how you can raise your fuel range when driving.
Factors that Affect Fuel Range
When buying a new car, one factor that determines the type of car you’ll buy is the range or how far you can drive with residual fuel or a single charge. But, despite being an essential factor, you need to realize that there are factors that affect your car’s fuel economy or miles per gallon (MPG). And since MPG and fuel range are closely related, your car’s range, whether electric or gas-powered is likely to suffer. So, which are some of these factors?
Now, the type of terrain you’re driving on can have a huge influence on your car’s power demands. For instance, driving uphill means that you’ll need a significant amount of energy. Depending on the hill incline, your car will have to consume a lot of fuel or battery power (in the case of electric cars) to drive uphill.
The car’s Weight
Another factor that can determine the range of a vehicle is the weight. A sedan and an SUV vehicle will have very different fuel ranges even when the cars are from the same manufacturer. Likewise, a vehicle carrying or towing a heavy load will have a reduced range, as it will demand more energy to accelerate.
Cold Weather Travels
If you’re driving a gas-powered vehicle, cold weather can lower the car’s range significantly. In cold weather, the engine will take longer to warm up meaning it will consume more fuel. This is the same case if you’re used to making excessive short trips. Here, the engine will not have enough time to warm up leading to increased fuel consumption.
Using Interior Equipment
To those driving electric vehicles, using your interior electrical components can hurt the range of the battery. Now, in our previous point, we mentioned cold weather travels. This factor can also affect electric vehicles indirectly. You see, when driving in cold regions, you’ll expect to turn on the car’s heater to increase the temperatures. As a result, you’ll end up consuming more battery power thus hurting the battery’s range.
So, How Do You Increase the Range?
Whether you own an EV or a gas-powered car, at least you’ve learned some of the factors that affect the range. So, in this section, we’re going to switch our attention by looking at some of the ways you can consider increasing your car’s range.
Be Cool With Electrical Components
Here, we’re basically talking of the temperature controls such as the A/C and the heater. If you’re driving a gas-powered car, temperature control can overburden the engine causing it to overheat. Once this happens, the driving range is automatically affected. In electric cars, A/Cs and heaters deplete the battery quickly leading to a noticeable decrease in the range.
Don’t Over Speed
Over speeding is one factor that can hurt your car’s fuel or battery range. According to statistics, speeding above 60 miles an hour can increase wind resistance causing your car to consume more energy. More energy means that fuel economy or EV battery range will lower by 7% to 14%. So, whether you’re driving an EV or a gas-powered vehicle, it’s recommended that you drive at speeds below 60 mph to save on the range.
Plan Your Routes
If your car has a navigation system that suggests energy-efficient routes, then that’s a huge advantage. This way, you won’t have to drive through traffic or busy routes. Also, you’ll manage to avoid hilly and mountainous routes. Lastly, you’ll easily identify routes with filling stations and charging points making things even easier.
Inspect Tire Pressure
One of the factors that can really hurt your car’s fuel or battery range is driving with poorly inflated tires. With inflated tires, the engine or the motor will have to work harder to push the car forward. This overburdening of the car will eventually lead to high fuel consumption or rapid loss of battery power in the case of EVs. So, to avoid this, it’s recommended that you inspect the tires and top them off with sufficient air at all times.
So, that’s all we had for you today. In case you’ve been scratching your head wondering what exactly is a range, then this post has given you a clear definition. Besides, we’ve discussed some factors that affect range in both gasoline and EV vehicles and even suggested proactive steps to follow to improve fuel efficiency and EV battery power.