In cold temperatures, electric vehicles reduce their driving range. With so many options available, more and more consumers are opting for electric vehicles. Yet there is widespread anxiety about how these vehicles will perform in high conditions since the driving range of electric vehicles reduces in cold temperatures.
According to AAA’s “Cold Weather Can Cut Electric Car Range by Over 40%”, EVs often lose 12% of their range in cold weather, but the loss leaps to 41% with the heater on full blast.
What Exactly Happens?
That means that in cold weather if you have an electric car that is rated to travel 150 miles on a single charge, you’ll probably only get 88 miles before needing to recharge. It will also take longer to charge the vehicle’s battery to full capacity. Cold conditions can impair an electric car’s regenerative braking function, which recovers energy lost during deceleration or halting and returns it to the battery.
The amount of range lost is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of vehicle and its range in regular conditions. According to a AAA study, EVs lose up to 12% of their range in cold weather, and if the heater is turned on when they detonate, cars can lose up to 41% of their range. According to customer data, when the weather dips below freezing and the heater and window fog are turned on, the demand for batteries increases. The chemical reaction in the battery will be slowed by the cold weather.
Within the next five years, new battery technology will no longer require liquid within and will be less susceptible to freezing temperatures. But, for the time being, what should you do when low temperatures can significantly impair both a battery’s performance and its capacity to receive a charge?
Charging in Cold Weather
Most importantly, don’t let your battery run out of juice. Maintain a minimum of a 20% charge at all times. You’ll need that reserve to warm the car both inside and out, as well as to charge the battery. While your EV is still plugged in, use that extra power to precondition the vehicle before you leave.
When not in use, store your electric car in a heated garage to keep it out of the elements. If you’re not at home, attempt to park in the sun to keep the car warm. Always keep it plugged in at home to keep it charged. Many electric vehicles offer a “pre-conditioning” capability that is activated via a smartphone app. This will assist conserve battery capacity by heating both the cabin and the battery while the vehicle is plugged into the charger. Make use of this to make your vehicle ready for the road.
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Driving in Cold Weather
Keep in mind that speed depletes the battery as well. The faster you go, the more your energy is sucked up. To increase battery range, ease off the accelerator. Furthermore, at higher speeds, a car’s aerodynamic drag increases, necessitating more power to overcome. As a result, it is critical to slow down and drive cautiously in cold weather. Even with all of their technological advances, electric vehicles may spin-off on ice and snow just as readily as conventional automobiles.
Many electric vehicles offer an “Eco mode” that reduces performance to preserve battery range. Selecting Eco mode in cold weather will help you extend your range. In addition, certain EVs allow you to customize the regenerative braking feature. Set your regenerative braking to maximum if your vehicle has this option to transfer more power back to the battery when braking.
The less you use the heater while driving in cold weather, the more range you will have. Lowering the temperature will help you maintain your range. Many electric vehicles include heated seats and even heated steering wheels, which use less power than the heater. In the AAA study, the electric vehicles tested lost only around 12% of their range in the cold when the heaters were turned off, compared to 41% when the temperature control was turned on.
When out and about in cold weather, it is critical to have the capacity to charge quickly if necessary. Check to see if there are any public charging stations near where you live, shop, or work. Remember that even in frigid temperatures, DC fast-charging stations can recharge your battery to 80 percent in 30 to 45 minutes.
According to a periodic analysis that examined the winter driving range of thousands of EVs, the Tesla Model Y keeps the majority of its range, while the Chevy Bolt loses the most.
Anna Stefanopoulou, director of the Energy Institute at the University of Michigan, told Wired that batteries are just like humans – below 40 or above 115 degrees Fahrenheit they can reduce maximum performance. It was suggested that the battery should not be charged below 20% at cold temperatures and take full advantage of the power supply while charging. Mac-E chief engineer Donna Dixon told Axios that the battery would overheat if the car was turned on while plugging in. “Pre-conditioning helps a lot because it brings it to a temperature that works efficiently,” he said.