How to Drive an Electric Vehicle: A Comprehensive Guide

by Oct 5, 2023Car tips, Driving tips0 comments

How to Drive an Electric Vehicle: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve mastered the art of driving a gasoline car, navigating the world of electric vehicles is a breeze. How to drive an electric vehicle? While there are subtle differences, diving into the driver’s seat of an electric vehicle for the first time has nothing to fear. The controls feel familiar, easing the transition for drivers accustomed to traditional vehicles.

While most EVs share the same basics as their petrol or diesel counterparts, electric vehicles present a user-friendly driving experience, surpassing conventional petrol or diesel cars in many aspects. Although you might need to slightly modify your driving style and add charging to your daily or weekly rountine, you might discover that you actually enjoy driving an electric vehicle. This guide clarifies the myths around driving electric vehicles and shows how to get the most out of an EV.



How to Drive an Electric Vehicle

Driving an electric vehicle is a refreshing experience, but it begins with understanding the basics. 


The Basics of Driving an Electric Vehicle

Driving an EV follows a universal pattern across various models. Beyond a hint of green on the license plates, most EVs share the same basisc as their petrol or diesel counterparts. The controls feel familiar, easing the transition for drivers accustomed to traditional vehicles.


Just take your place in the driver’s seat, press the ‘Power’ button on the dashboard and select Drive. Usually through a traditional gear lever akin to an automatic car. 


EVs boast a smooth and quiet ride. The instantaneous torque from electric motors ensures swift acceleration, a feature accentuated in premium EVs like Tesla. Caution is advised – that acceleration can catch you off guard. Once in motion, the absence of gears and a clutch pedal simplifies the experience. It’s a seamless ‘stop and go’ affair, facilitated by the brake and accelerator pedals. 

How to Drive an Electric Vehicle

Instant Torque

Instant torque allows for rapid acceleration, particularly in some high-end EVs, such a Tesla. You may need to watch your speed, so proceed with caution.

100 percent of the torque at your command the moment you touch the accelerator pedal. In the realm of electric cars, this means acceleration to 30mph that could rival a supercar. It’s a thrilling experience, especially in urban environments. Just be mindful—too many rapid starts might dent your projected driving range.


Regenerative Braking

EVs introduce a different feel to braking, influenced by regenerative braking systems. Regenerative braking is a technique used by EVs to collect kinetic energy and recharge batteries. Lift off the throttle, and the car may slow down more than expected. However, this can be an advantage. While the extent of the difference varies, it’s essential to adapt. Embrace regenerative braking to not only extend your range but also make your driving experience smoother.

Driving efficiently involves anticipating hazards and adopting smooth driving habits. In the realm of electric vehicles, energy preservation is paramount. Coasting down hills, adjusting regenerative braking settings, and employing a ‘one-pedal’ option contribute to extending driving range.


Adjusting to the Silence

Engaging drive mode in an electric vehicle lacks the typical fanfare associated with turning keys or pressing start buttons. The absence of the familiar engine hum might initially surprise you, but it swiftly becomes a cherished aspect of the electric driving experience.


Automatic Simplicity

Most electric  vehicle feature a single-speed transmission, translating to fewer moving parts and potential cost savings on servicing. As a driver, you’ll revel in smooth, linear acceleration without the need for a clutch pedal or gear shifting. The result? A refined and effortless driving experience.


Preconditioning for Comfort and Efficiency

Take advantage of preconditioning to ready your EV’s cabin before hitting the road. Whether it’s pre-heating or pre-cooling, this practice ensures a comfortable ride while maximizing your car’s range and preserving its battery life. Efficient energy use means your journey starts with a fully charged battery.


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How to Drive an Electric Vehicle Efficiency

Just as with traditional cars, your driving habits significantly impact an electric car’s efficiency. Opt for a steady approach, anticipate the road ahead, and go easy on the accelerator pedal. A measured driving style rewards you with an extended range, saving both time and money on charging.


Maximizing Range

Preserving energy becomes an art form in an electric vehicle. Driving smoothly and anticipating risks is essential to preserving electricity in any electric vehicle.


Smooth driving and strategic use of regenerative braking go a long way. Adjusting regenerative braking force, practicing one-pedal driving, and preconditioning the battery before departure are essential strategies. Your available driving range will be preserved by conserving as much energy as you can and charging the battery using kinetic energy from regenerative braking, which means you need to charge less frequently.


Mindful use of in-car devices matters too. Opt for the ‘driver’ setting in solo travels or, better yet, turn off the air conditioning. Activate heated seats and steering wheel selectively, and minimize infotainment screen usage.


It also saves energy to extend your range if you get your car’s interior and battery to the proper temperatures before you leave the house, ideally while it is charging. This procedure, known as pre-conditioning, is typically initiated and managed via a smartphone app. Utilizing smartphone apps that accompany most EVs provides real-time range monitoring, locates charging points, and facilitates preconditioning controls.


Learn the art of maximizing your EV’s range through mindful driving techniques. Smooth acceleration, maintaining optimal speeds, and judicious use of climate control contribute significantly to extending your journey.



Efficient charging is crucial for uninterrupted journeys. Planning your route before you go is particularly crucial with electric vehicles. While navigating range anxiety is a common concern for EV drivers, arm yourself with strategic route planning, knowledge of public charging stations, and emergency preparedness to alleviate any concerns.


Plan your charging breaks to coincide with leisure stops, maximizing your time on the road.

How to drive an electric vehicle efficiently?Just follow these tips to optimize your charging routine:


Know Your EV’s Range: Understand your EV’s range on a full charge. This will be the basis for planning your charging breaks.


Identify Charging Stations: Research and identify charging stations along your route. Use reliable apps or websites that provide real-time information on station availability and charging speeds.


Consider Your Route: Plan your route with charging stations strategically placed at intervals that align with your EV’s range. It’s wise to choose stations close to amenities like rest areas or restaurants.


Factor in Charging Speeds: Different charging stations offer varying speeds. Factor in the time needed for a full charge or a sufficient boost based on the charging station’s capabilities.


Time Your Breaks: Plan your charging breaks during natural breaks in your journey, such as meal stops or sightseeing. This maximizes your time efficiency and ensures you’re not waiting around unnecessarily.


Backup Charging Options: Have backup charging options in case a planned station is occupied or out of order. This flexibility is key to a stress-free journey.


Weather Considerations: Extreme weather conditions can affect your EV’s range. Plan accordingly, especially in colder temperatures where battery efficiency may decrease.


Utilize Regenerative Braking: Take advantage of regenerative braking where available. It can help extend your range by converting kinetic energy back into stored energy in the battery.


Charge Strategically: If your EV has a range extender feature (like a “hold” mode), use it strategically. Save electric-only mode for urban areas, and switch to the range extender on highways.


Stay Informed: Keep an eye on your EV’s battery status and charging progress through the vehicle’s app or dashboard. Stay informed about any changes or delays.


Once you get used to driving an electric vehicle, most ICE vehicles will appear noisy and too complex. The bigger problem won’t be learning how to drive an EV; which is quite simple; it’ll be changing how you think about charging and preserving range.

Beyond these factors, driving an EV is just as simple as driving a conventional car, if not easier in certain ways. Enjoy the smooth electric motor, the almost silent driving experience, and the tempting idea of cheaper operating expenses. Just remember, keep those batteries charged for an uninterrupted electric adventure.


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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Buying a Used EV in Canada: What You Need to Consider

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Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.

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