Have you been running the AC nonstop in your car to combat the summer heat? If you own an electric drive, this can quickly drain your car's battery life. smart car of America users recognized this fact and had a great discussion on how to keep yourself cool while preserving power. Robert Weingart, smart's in-house electric drive expert, also shared his tips:

1. Use preconditioning to reduce the initial load on the HVAC system when you start driving. If you can use power from the grid, this will save your HV battery SOC for driving.


2. Set the interior temperature as high as is comfortable when driving. The colder you set the temperature, the harder the compressor has to run, which will reduce your SOC. The AC compressor is a variable speed motor and will run at a higher RPM, using more power, the colder you set the temperature setting.

3. Toggle the AC on and off while driving. If you can tolerate the rise in humidity when the compressor is off, this will save the running time for the compressor. Only run the compressor when you really feel you need it.

4. Keep your cabin filter clean. A clogged cabin filter will cause a reduction in air movement through the HVAC system and poorer performance. This means the system has to work harder to maintain a set temperature.

5. If you hear the AC compressor running even though you don’t have the AC button depressed, this is probably due to the cooling of the HV battery. The AC compressor cools the HV battery coolant by way of a chiller. So on very hot days when the HV battery heats up, the compressor will run.

electric drive Insiders, do you have any additional insights to share?

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