play Watch the video

The keys to planning a journey by electric car

Published by on 02.25.2021 - 5 min

Planning a long trip by electric car raises several questions regarding the route, range, access to charging stations, charging time, payments methods and so on. Good news: all the necessary information is just a few a short scroll away, to make long journeys by electric car even easier. Let’s take a look.

How to prepare for a long journey by electric car?

Like with a combustion-powered car, a long journey by electric car requires preparation! In this digital age, there are multiple tools available for planning a trip in an electric car, taking into account the different factors in order to create the optimal plan: route, charging station map, charging time, battery autonomy, number of passengers, luggage etc. When it comes to an electric vehicle, the key to a successful trip is to set your route based on battery autonomy and charging options along the way. Renault, for example, offers the MY Renault smartphone app, which can be used anywhere and at any time, as well as the multimedia system EASY LINK onboard the Renault vehicle for accessing during the journey. These two tools can be used strategically to ensure a journey by electric car runs as smoothly as the vehicle!

ZOE itinerary dashboard

Calculate your route with MY Renault

The MY Renault application offers a wide range of services to manage your Renault vehicle remotely using a smartphone, such as the battery charge level, programming recharges, pre-conditioning the interior temperature and, most importantly in this scenario, a trip planner.
If you’re in an adventurous and spontaneous mood, and don’t want to have to worry about recharging your vehicle, MY Renault shows you the range available without recharging — also known as its “reachable zone”. Planning your journey by electric car involves simply choosing a destination within this area.
If you want to travel further, or if you already have a specific destination in mind beyond this zone, the smart trip planner can calculate a route that includes a charging location and the time required to recharge, not forgetting the number of passengers and luggage, all of which affect the vehicle’s energy consumption. This route can then be sent directly to the EASY LINK for consultation onboard your Renault electric vehicle, such as ZOE for example. During the journey, thanks to the GPS map on EASY LINK, you can keep an eye on the charging stations nearby with their availability in real-time, and therefore change your plans if you so decide.

Renault connected services itinerary

Your electric vehicle’s range: a crucial factor when planning a trip by electric car

The calculation and correct management of your electric vehicle’s range are obviously important when planning a long-distance trip. And there are numerous elements that influence the range of an electric car: the power of the motor and battery, the weight of the vehicle with everyone inside plus luggage, driving style, speed, the weather, the road topography, tire pressure, the use of interior heating or air conditioning, and so on… While certain factors are inherent to the vehicle itself, such as the capacity of the battery or motor, and others are beyond your control, like the weather or terrain, the driver nonetheless has several ways in which they can economize battery life and prolong the vehicle’s range. Studying your route in advance, or using a guidance system to avoid unnecessary detours is vital when it comes to your managing vehicle’s range, as well as respecting speed limits.

Electric vehicle: increase range with eco-driving

Eco-driving is the combination of good driving techniques in order to reduce energy consumption, extend the range of your vehicle and also increase comfort and peace of mind at the wheel. Adopting eco-driving habits helps your journey go without a hitch! Behind the wheel, eco-driving is above all a question of fluid and smooth driving, favoring gradual accelerations and anticipating decelerations in order to take advantage of the regenerative braking system.

A few simple techniques, like pre-conditioning, can reduce the impact of heating/cooling on the battery. Program the desired interior temperature in advance, when the vehicle is charging and therefore hooked up to the grid. Maintaining the onboard temperature then puts less demand on the battery. Bear this in mind also when taking a break to recharge during the trip. In any case, activating the “ECO” mode on a Renault electric vehicle can be a helpful way of finding the right balance between comfort and energy consumption.

mobile with my renault

Recharging during a trip by electric car 

After planning your trip by electric car, set off on the right foot with a full battery. Here too, MY Renault comes in handy with the upcoming option to charge your vehicle remotely. Depending on the country, the smart charging feature will soon offer users the ability to program their departure time and desired charge level. The recharge then starts and stops depending on peaks in energy consumption, meaning the user benefits from cheaper and lower-carbon energy, and the grid optimizes its electricity distribution.

The main connector types and charging modes for an electric car

There are several charging modes and connector types which join the vehicle to the charging station. From the household socket to rapid charging, the different ways of charging your vehicle offer increasing power output levels and therefore faster charging. On the car’s side, the “type 2” socket is the standard chosen by the European Union and, as a result, the most common. The rapid charge, with its high intensity direct current, requires a special “Combo 2” type socket on the vehicle. This can be used either for a DC charging cable or an AC charging cable. ZOE’s Combo 2 socket, for example, is compatible with all the types of fast and rapid charge infrastructure found in Europe.

Rapid charging: simplify long journeys

The figures speak for themselves: it only takes 30 minutes on a rapid 50 kW DC charging station for the Renault ZOE (with the Z.E. 50 battery) to recover up to 150 kilometers of range, compared to 125 kilometers recovered in 1 hour on a 22 kW AC station, or 2 hours at 11 kW. These days, rapid charging stations, which are able to deliver a power output of 30-60 kW and over using direct current, represent 10-15% of all available stations, and are concentrated mainly along highways. Several rapid charge highway network projects are currently being developed in Europe, and should encourage the growth of electric mobility over long distances in the years to come. While we wait for compatibility with all charging modes, like on New ZOE thanks to its DC 50 charger, it’s important to always ensure that the battery and the electric vehicle’s charger are able to receive such power levels.

Renault connected vehicle app

Access to charging stations that are compatible with your electric vehicle

The increase in long journeys being taken by electric car depends largely on accessible charging points along the way. Today there are over 200,000 public stations in Europe, which has given itself the ambitious objective of 1 million stations by 2025. With the increase in networks and involved parties, the best way to navigate through all the different options is via a specialist such as Plugsurfing, whose maps of existing charging points are available on the MY Renault app and onboard Renault vehicles through the EASY LINK system. This way, you can keep an eye on charging stations and their availability, wherever you are. And to avoid having to register for multiple subscriptions by the different charging infrastructure operators, the Z.E. Pass — coming soon on the MY Renault app — is set to simplify life even further for those traveling by electric car; giving them access to over 190,000 charging points around Europe.

From ever greater range for electric vehicles, connected services both onboard and on smartphones for planning trips, recharges etc., and the development of charging infrastructure on roads and major highways… all of these factors contribute to the exciting future of electromobility!

ZE pass charging app

 

 

* The duration and distances mentioned here are calculated from results obtained by New ZOE during the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, standardized cycle: 57% urban driving, 25% suburban driving, 18% highway driving), which aims to represent the actual conditions of a vehicle’s use. However, they cannot foresee the type of journey after recharging. The charging time and recovered range also depend on the temperature, the degree of battery wear, the amount of power delivered by the charging station, driving style and the level of charge.

 

Copyrights : Renault Communication, Renault Marketing 3D-Commerce