Heading off on a summer holiday or a long drive in your electric car and want to make sure you’ve done all the necessary vehicle checks?
Just like when you board a plane and the safety video tells you what to check before the flight takes off, we’ll let you know exactly what to check before you begin your journey.
1.Pump up your tyres
As with cars with petrol or diesel engines, pumping up your tyres or swapping to a new set can improve your car’s efficiency. Electric cars tend to go through tyres faster due to the added weight of the car’s battery packs, so it’s worth checking your tyre tread meets the legal limit before setting off on a long journey. It’s also a good idea to check your spare tyre is in good condition or to find out if your car comes with a tyre repair kit instead.
2. Top up your battery
While you don’t need to set off with your battery topped up to 100%, having a relatively full battery will mean you can focus on the journey ahead. Then, you just need to plan to charge when you hit around 20% capacity to make the most of using a rapid or ultra-fast charger. And if your battery is almost full when you set off, you’re less likely to encounter holiday traffic when you stop to charge again later in your journey.
3. Fill up those fluids
Just like it’s important for you to be well-hydrated before you set off on your journey, it’s important for your car to be too! Electric cars typically only require three key fluids to be topped up regularly – coolant fluid, brake fluid, and windscreen washer fluid – and knowing these are full will give you added peace of mind that you’ll have a safe journey.
4. Study your owner’s manual
Do you know how to or switch your lights to high-beam or how to change your vehicle’s driving mode to the most efficient option? Most electric cars are equipped with regenerative braking to harness the energy generated when the car is braking, to add extra range to your battery, so it’s worth knowing how to activate this too.
5. Check your visibility
Struggling to see clearly through your windscreen or your mirrors? Set off with clear glass and you’ll not only see better, you’ll feel better, as you won’t have to squint or move your head around to avoid any low-lying light. If it’s a chilly morning, you’ll also want to make sure your vehicle is properly demisted and de-iced before you drive away. Many electric vehicles are equipped, so you can prepare the car – and also in some cases pre-condition the batteries for optimal performance – before you even get in.
6. In case of emergency
In the unlikely event your electric car breaks down during your journey, it’s worth understanding how breakdown services can help. If you run out of charge, services such as the AA or RAC can take you to your nearest charge point or deliver a quick charge to help you get there, so having pre-arranged cover provides reassurance that you’ll benefit from added support in an emergency.
7. Pack your cables
While you may not need to pack your three-pin charging cable, it’s worth scoping out what charging options are available en-route to your destination, as you may need to pack your own cable to use to top up your vehicle if there are no rapid chargers nearby. If you’re unsure whether any of the chargers near your destination are available on our network, you can check our pulse point map.
Pro-tip: store your cables somewhere in your vehicle in an easily accessible place as once you’ve loaded it up, it can be difficult to retrieve your cables from underneath your luggage!
8. Stock up on safety essentials
While some of the latest electric cars include three-pin plugs to power domestic appliances, not all of us benefit from this clever feature. It pays to pack a back-up to your smartphone flashlight in the form of a good, old-fashioned torch, and an umbrella is another essential item to protect you from the elements – after all, this is the UK! Finally, it never hurts to have a first-aid kit handy, for any unexpected adventures you may encounter on your holiday.
9. Pack your access card (or your phone charger)
If you do forget your access card, there’s no need to worry, as you can still use contactless to pay for your charging or access our chargers with guest payment via a smartphone browser. If you’d rather use the app or browser option, don’t forget to pack your phone charger so you can use your phone to start or stop a charging session. And, if you run into any issues charging your car, the bp pulse customer care team is available 24/7 via our helpline to help get you back on the road, quick-smart!
Journey planned and raring to go, but know you’ll need to charge along the way? Sign up for a bp pulse membership today to take advantage of our special member charging rates!