What drains an electric car battery most?

From air-con to smartphone charging – how much range is wiped-out when using these nine common features

One of the biggest concerns about switching to electric vehicles (EVs) is range anxiety – that bottom-clenching fear that you’ll be stranded at the side of the road with a flat battery.

And there are lots of tales about how quickly you can deplete an EV’s battery by running common features, such as air-conditioning on hot days and the heater in winter.

Does a battery deplete faster at night because you’re using the headlights more? And do you lose miles of range if you plug a smartphone in to charge? These are among just a few of the questions motorists rightfully have as we inch closer to the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel motors.

Thankfully, a new report from a team of EV experts claims to have all the answers, estimating the impact of different features on an electric car’s battery.

Gridserve, which operates charging stations across the UK, has compiled a list of its most-commonly-asked questions to ‘EV Gurus’ and leasing consultants who work at their sites.

In a bid to set the record straight once and for all, the EV-charging firm has done the math to highlight what the true impact is.

It claims to have utilised live vehicle data, manufacturer tech sheets and lots of number crunching to calculate how much energy different features require – and then converted that into how many miles per hour it will zap from an EV’s battery.