First-Time EV Drivers: Don’t Make These 4 Critical Mistakes

When I first drove an EV, I was surprised how different it was to actually drive compared to a normal gasoline car – especially since I have only had manual (stick) cars in the past.

The fact that you use all three pedals in a manual gas car, but (usually) you only have one pedal in an EV is a big part of this difference. Here are the four biggest mistakes new electric vehicle drivers make, and how to avoid them.

Firstly, EVs have something called regenerative braking. Basically when you want to slow down, you lift your foot off the “gas” pedal (the accelerator) and the car slows down – and the battery actually recharges a little when this happens.

Braking is a Whole New Ballgame

But this system feels weird at first – after all, lifting your foot off the gas pedal in a gasoline car… doesn’t really do anything. Yes you’ll eventually slow down, but it certainly doesn’t brake – like in an EV.

Secondly, if you’re used to driving a manual (stick) car, you’ll probably try and ‘change gears’ a couple of times in an EV.

‘Changing Gears' is Not a Thing

BUT, of course, there is no clutch pedal in an EV – meaning that you’ll try to change gears, slam down on the clutch pedal… only to realize that this car is automatic, and you’ve just done an emergency stop by slamming down on the brake pedal instead.

Thirdly, EVs don’t have combustion engines that slowly accelerate after you hit the “gas” pedal. Instead they can move forward almost instantly – something known as instant torque.

Instant Torque Can Send You Crashing In No Time

But the downside here is that the car will move off very quickly; much quicker than you’ll probably be used to. It’s easy to almost go into the back of someone… or end up in a neighbor’s front garden!

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