ElectricVehicleWeb.in reader Nirvik Banerjee started using his Tata Nexon EV about two months ago, and where many users have only reported getting a range of around 200 km per charge (against the ARAI agency rating of 312 km), he manages to post much higher numbers. In a recent trip with two of his friends, Nirvik managed 256.7 km distance with 6 percent charge remaining. Here’s Nirvik’s story:
Following my booking in December, I took delivery of the Tata Nexon EV in July from Maharashtra, the car was delayed due to COVID-19. In Maharashtra, there is no registration fee or road tax for EVs which is a move that would encourage more people to switch to EVs as more mainstream brands offer this type of vehicle. Moreover you are entitled to get a subsidy of INR 1 lakh on the ex-showroom price.
Unlike what most people think, electric vehicles are very powerful. I say this after extensively driving the Nexon EV and the MG ZS EV. But the trick of getting the maximum range out of the electric vehicle is not to use that power, to resist that temptation. In the Nexon EV, the lowest Wh/km consumption (as per the display) is 119 Wh/km – which is the base.
1. Use the ‘Drive’ Mode
The Nexon EV offers two modes – Drive and Sport, and there is a 60 per cent difference in torque between the two. Leave it in Drive mode to get the best results for range.
2. Light-footed driving
When you press the accelerator pedal hard, even for a short time, it drives up the energy consumption. The important measure to get the maximum range out of the Tata Nexon EV is to drive with a light foot. Don’t accelerate hard, and drive it softly. It doesn’t matter whether you are driving at 50 km/h or 80 km/h speed, the trick is to use a light foot to accelerate, no sudden acceleration. With your right foot, simulate the acceleration you would get on a 1-litre (naturally aspirated) petrol engine.
3. Take a break every 120 km
I recommend you take a break for every 100-120 km for about 5 minutes. When I drove the car without a break for over an hour for the first time, I noticed that the power consumption started increasing slowly despite being light on the throttle. When the reading hit 190 Wh/km, the vehicle flashed a message on the display (MID) asking me to take a break. If you are driving hard over short distances, you don’t get this message.
4. Use the air conditioning smartly
I try to drive in a way where I get 3 km for every percentage of battery charge. This is possible if you switch off the air conditioning. You can read in the user manual that all auxiliary power consumption, except for the AC, comes from the auxiliary battery. So the headlamp, music system, wipers are controlled by the auxiliary battery charged up by the primary battery. The AC usage is one way you conserve the power. In my city I’m able to set the temperature at 25 degrees centigrade and blower setting at the first point, and have a comfortable journey. I would recommend owners to go through the 250 pages of the manual to understand how to get the best out of their car.
5. Maintain the right tire pressure
I maintain the tire pressure at 34 psi, but the recommended tire pressure is 32 psi.
6. Keep the speed to under 80 km/h
When I managed over 250 km, I maintained a speed of around 70 km/h in the onward journey and 80 km/h while returning, and my AC usage was higher while returning as I knew I would make it back comfortably without needing a recharge.
My car was delivered to my home from Nagpur. I stay in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh. The Tata sales person who delivered the car drove the Nexon EV for 290 km before recharging (Nagpur to Raipur), so anyone who wants to get a good range should be able to do it!