Which Driving Mode Saves the Most Energy?
One of the most interesting features in modern cars is the presence of distinct driving modes. They are often denoted on various buttons and dials within the driver cockpit, depending on how the OEM designs the overall ergonomics within the car. At any rate, these driving modes offer exciting and varied ways to optimise the overall experience for driver and passengers alike. What’s more, they make the car more capable.
Electric cars in particular feature multiple driving modes designed to make driving more fun, yes, but also more economical. As we all know, the key matter with electric cars is overall range on a single charge of the main battery. So, regardless of whether you’re driving an electric or a conventional car, which drive mode saves you the most energy (or petrol, for regular cars) – we’ll take a look in today’s blog.
What Are the Common Driving Modes?
Broadly speaking, most driving modes can fit into one of the following 5 categories, either sharing this exact name, or having something similar from the manufacturer. We’ll take a closer look at each one below.
This is a balanced driving mode designed to offer greater comfort for driver and passenger alike. It’s an ideal everyday or default setting for many people, especially those driving family cars where the car’s weight will change through the day with extra passengers and luggage. Those who drive every day to complete errands, do school runs, commute to the office and more will find comfort mode a strong and useful setting to keep things balanced and comfortable.
Comfort modes tend to borrow aspects from all the other driving modes to create a kind of ideal custom setting to suit whatever environments you drive in each day. If your daily driving takes you down narrow country roads as well as on busy A roads and motorways, then keeping it in comfort mode will ensure your car is properly optimised for each road setting.
This setting is also sometimes known as “track” or perhaps “performance” or something like that. It’s a setting designed to optimise the vehicle for fast, aggressive and athletic driving styles. If you’re testing the car on a track, driving at high speeds on the motorway or dual carriageway, or navigating your way through twisty and intricate roads, sport mode offers the best set of dynamics to make that drive more enjoyable, and easier to manage.
Eco mode refers to the energy- or fuel-saving setting designed for maximum economy. This setting is best suited for those who, for example, find themselves stuck in heavy traffic every day, which under normal conditions would result in a lot of fuel or energy being wasted just idling and crawling forward at a snail’s pace. Alternatively, it’s also useful for those who have to drive long distances at steady speeds who would like to minimise the need to stop for charging or refuelling.
This driving mode is especially useful in cars that already have a high electric range or impressive standard fuel economy, stretching those numbers even further to make every charge/tank even more worthwhile.
For those who live in the country or near the coast, these special settings are designed mostly to improve traction and control on otherwise difficult or dangerous driving surfaces. Snow is the most widely beneficial one since it helps people in both town and country. Snow mode will greatly optimise tire and wheel traction to help boost control when driving in the winter.
Mud and sand modes are useful for those driving in the country or by the coast where they may find themselves dealing with trickier conditions. Each is designed to boost traction and help prevent the car from getting stuck on either surface.
This is a driving mode that you’ll typically only find on SUVs or crossovers, though some smaller cars might have it if they are designed to be like rally cars or adventure vehicles. Off-road driving modes and settings may branch into specific things such as rock crawling, mud driving, tackling steep slopes and more. These are more extreme adjustments to the traction, 4WD/AWD settings, and other features that help one operate a car more easily in these challenging off-road environments.
Which Driving Mode Saves the Most Energy?
As the name might suggest, the “Eco Mode” setting is generally the one that drivers will turn to when they want to save either on battery power or petrol. Eco mode is designed to give drivers more miles and thus more time to get where they’re going, especially if it’s an emergency. Moreover, eco mode can make a car cheaper to run, and is an attractive option for those who are in and out of the car all day and have to cover more than average mileage each day, week, month, and year.
Besides eco mode, “comfort” mode or a similar setting will also be an efficient choice because this mode is designed specifically for balance. For those who drive across different road types each day, and cover a great deal of mileage, keeping the setting mostly on comfort will ensure that the optimum settings are being used to suit the particular road surface and other environmental factors that you are dealing with.
The key to energy and fuel saving in any car is balance and general equilibrium. It’s for this reason that those people with more aggressive driving styles tend to burn through battery energy and petrol a lot faster than those who keep things steady and more balanced. For example, those who aggressively accelerate and then brake aggressively to come to a stop in a short time will burn through energy faster.
In terms of driving modes, the more pointed or ‘extreme’ driving settings like sport/track and off-road may burn up more fuel because they are designed to optimise the vehicle for more extreme driving conditions. If one maintains a steady driving style, however, then the impact of these driving modes can also be reduced, and you might even notice that no one driving mode noticeably uses up more energy than another.