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Worldwide, governments and car manufacturers are focusing on electric vehicles (EVs). This creates a greener world for future generations. EVs are a more environmentally-friendly alternative to gasoline-powered cars, although this is often disputed.

EVs have been around for decades, yet the mainstream population still has a lot to learn about how they operate and their costs. It is general knowledge that purchasing an EV is more expensive than gas-powered cars, but what are the other expenses? How much does it cost to power an EV? How is power calculated, and what affects it? For example, does Android Auto affect an EV’s driving range, and if so, how much?

How is an EV’s driving range calculated?

Android Auto displayed on an infotainment screen.
Android Auto | Getty Images

Drivers with gasoline-powered vehicles know that the amount of gas used is calculated in miles per gallon (mpg). The average miles per gallon a car gets is displayed when consumers shop for a vehicle, but the amount can vary based on driving conditions, weather, the health of the vehicle, and more. EVs are similar as each car needs average amounts of power, and conditions can affect power usage. How an electric vehicle’s power usage is calculated differs from a gas-powered vehicle. 

Since an EV doesn’t use gasoline, there are no miles to the gallon. Instead, an EV’s power is calculated in kilowatt-hours (kWh). If you are familiar with watts, you might think kilowatt-hours are kilowatts, but that is incorrect. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts of power. Just Energy explains that a kilowatt-hour is the amount of time or energy needed to use one kilowatt of power. 

Edmund’s explains this in layman’s terms as EV’s energy consumption is measured in kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (kWh/100 miles). An EV’s kWh is listed in its information, much like a gasoline-powered car lists its mpg. 

Virta, a Finnish company, researched to understand the average energy consumption of EV users. They found that an electric car consumes 0,20 KWH/KM on average. However, several factors affected electricity usage, including weather conditions and uses. 

How much energy does Android Auto consume?

Electric vehicles aren’t the only modern advance we see in cars today. Everything from heated seats to advanced infotainment systems and cellular connectivity like Android Auto is enjoyed by drivers on the road. While all these advancements make driving more accessible and enjoyable, they also consume energy affecting an EV’s driving range. 

Different systems and features in an EV affect the vehicle’s driving range more than others. For example, heating and cooling systems have a more significant impact than windshield wipers. 

Luckily, a study by Pete Bishop for Wired lists over 50 car components and systems’ power usage, and Android Auto will not affect an EV’s driving range much. The primary energy source used when taking advantage of Android Auto stems from the vehicle’s radio power usage.

An EV’s radio only uses 10 kWh a day, so while you might find yourself with a drained mobile phone battery, using Android Auto will have minimal effect on how far your EV will go before needing its next charge.

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Although Android Auto isn’t likely to significantly impact your energy consumption, other things will. For example, a cargo box on your roof or a bike rack can affect a car’s mileage. It is also essential to maintain your vehicle, ensuring the fluids are good and the tires are properly inflated.  

Lastly, if you want to conserve money while powering your EV, check with your local power company for EV-specific plans, and other deals can help you save significant money on your electric bill.