Range is a critical performance metric for electric cars and may deteriorate drastically in the winter season.
Cold also affects battery charging, as car batteries function efficiently within a small temperature range. If the weather is extremely cold, it is prudent to warm the batteries first and to charge them more quickly. It means that charging may take longer during the cold.
What effect does cold weather have on an electric vehicle?
Batteries in electric cars produce less current when the outside temperature drops below 40°. If the battery is not charged enough, it can quickly drain completely if kept in cold temperatures for an extended period.
The driving range of an electric car significantly decreases as the temperature drops below 20 degrees. As per AAA, driving an EV at or below this temperature while using the heating system lowers the average driving range by 41%.
Here are top tips to maximize the performance of your electric car as winter approaches
Keep your electric car's battery warm
As you may have figured, it is preferable to park your EV indoor. If there is no garage available, choose an enclosed space or if it is parked outside, park it in the sun to allow it to warm up 'naturally.' Because EV's batteries are set to maintain a specific temperature, it may additional power to warm up when the temperature drops significantly. Maintaining a warm battery is critical to conserve energy and thus range.
Warm up the battery and cabin
Most EVs allow you to set a departure time and warm up the battery and cabin while still plugged in. Utilize this option to ensure that the battery is charged accurately before departure and that no battery power is lost in heating the cabin.
Avoid draining the battery
If you cannot precondition the car, ensure that the battery charge is at least at 20% of its maximum capacity before driving away. It is possible that the car will need that reserve to keep the battery warm.
Make strategic use of heat
Because an EV's cabin heating system consumes a significant amount of battery power, it would be be wise to use it carefully. While driving, keep the heater on a low setting rather than turning it on and off frequently. It consumes more energy than maintaining a consistent – low – flow during the trip.
Heat the seat or the steering wheel
Reduce the central heating system's temperature and use heated seats or steering wheel. It is a more efficient method of maintaining a warm temperature. If you are driving in a cold climate, this should be your first choice for range preservation.
Check and adjust tire pressure
As temperatures drop, the air inside the tire contracts, resulting in increased rolling resistance and thus decreased driving range. Before going out in the cold, check and adjust your tires, and then re-adjust the pressure as the outside temperature rises.