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If you ever decide on going on a road trip with an electric car, we've got some really crucial tips which you may want to know about.

11 Dec 2019


The biggest pet-peeve, assumably, that one will usually have with an electric car is range. And when it comes to road trips, it is all about covering long distances.

The Audi e-tron is a well-established electric car, and we took it on a road trip last week in Auckland, New Zealand. Here are some tips we learnt during our all-electric road trip with it.

1. Look for charging stations

It is good to take note of what types of chargers your electric car can take; the e-tron for example only can use a CCS or Type 2 charger
The Audi e-tron offers a reasonable range of some 330km with a full tank of electricity. Despite this, the amount of kilometres you cover, the routes you take and the availability of charging stations should be something that you plan beforehand.

Despite good range figures, it is always good to know where the nearest station is. In New Zealand, government initiatives such as ChargeNet.nz offers a map of charging stations across both North and South islands.

2. Don't forget your charger...

Keeping the charging lead in the car means you can charge using a wall socket if necessary
The Audi e-tron comes with a charging lead with a domestic plug. This means you can charge the e-tron using a traditional household socket if necessary.

While you may never use it with the prevalence of charging stations, it isn't a bad idea to keep it with you.

If your next destination doesn't have a charging station, you can at least have a choice to plug it into a wall socket to grab a little bit of charge when you can.

3. Drive better

Anticipating traffic helps you coast for longer, especially on long downhill sections
While you can plan for charging stops, the variable that drains the most power is, of course, the act of driving itself.

Here's where the Audi e-tron does it better. Using GPS data and distance radars, it predicts long stretches of downslopes and cars up ahead. It then recommends you to let off the throttle. If your electric car doesn't have the tech, you can do it yourself. Look ahead, and coast as much as possible.

4. Harvest that energy

It takes a little getting used to, but regenerative braking is the best way to gain some range while driving
With that said, the best way to recoup electricity is by allowing the e-tron to regen via braking. The idea here is to not have to hit the brakes as often when you need to slow down.

With the e-tron, renerative braking force can be controlled via the paddle shifters, akin to engine braking.

If you look far ahead and anticipate traffic slow downs, you can effectively slow the car down considerably, braking only when you want to come to a complete stop.

5. Understand electric economy figures

Keeping an eye out and understanding your range and consumption figures is important when going on an all-electric road trip
Something we quickly learnt after being used to fuel consumption figures such as km/L, is electricity consumption figures.

The most common unit used to measure this is kWh/100km. This is directly related to your car's battery capacity.

In this case, the Audi e-tron sports a 95kWh battery, of which 83.6kWh is usable. With a range of 328km, that equates to a 25.5kWh/100km figure for the e-tron.

If you're able to work the math out, you can look at the current electrical consumption figures during your drive. The lower the number, the better, further stretching your range. Remember, the lesser amount of energy you use, the faster you can charge the car later on.
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