How much EV range with AC on?

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Apr 17, 2024
Sonoma County
Hey everyone!

With the hot summer days upon us, I've been using my AC on the way back home from work. My commute is 17 miles total. Three miles are 25 to 40 mph while 14 are on the freeway going between 65 and 72 mph. With the AC off, the battery will be dead and the engine will fire up at the very last half mile home.

I noticed that the same trip with AC on going home, I can just squeeze 11 total miles out of a full charge.

How many EV miles do you guys get on a full charge with the AC on?
That sounds about right. When I make a regular, local round trip of about 5 miles (city driving), with AC and blower off, battery range drops 4-5 miles. With the AC on it drops 8-10 miles. Took me a while to realize that. Now, when running in EV mode, I routinely turn the AC off unless it’s uncomfortably hot or humid outside. On the freeway, I always switch to hybrid or battery hold.
As soon as I push the AC switch the mileage remaining number drops 2-3 miles on my 2017. What I do is push the recirculate air button when using AC. Then If I need to get an extra mile, I'll switch off the AC but leave fan running. Cool air still blows through the vents.
My two cents here is that I'm learning to make efficient use of my AC. First of all, assuming I'm alone in the car, I close the rear passenger vent as well as the front passenger vent, with 3 vents pointed directly at my torso and face. Then, instead of turning the AC on at say something like 72F, I'll start at around 78-80F all depending on what the current cabin temperature is so that the AC is working as little as possible while lowering my body temperature but not being so concerned about the overall cabin temperature.

I'll also turn on re-circulation as the air gets colder in the cabin, it needs less and less juice to just keep it cold. Over the miles, I end up clicking the temp down 1 degree at a time if I don't feel comfortable, I end up settling somewhere around 76F or so, the key is to forget about getting the cabin temp down, but rather focus minimal cool air directly on your person to keep you comfortable.

I have not done any testing to see if this method actually increases my range, but, I feel like I'm doing what I can to use the AC as efficiently as possible.