EVs and Cold Weather: What to Expect

blue vehicle with snow on it and winter written in the snow

If you own an electric vehicle, you must have noticed its range drop during cold weather. Well, that is not a fault but a common phenomenon. While it is a challenge for all-electric vehicle owners, the range lost depends on numerous factors, including your car model and whether the heater is on.

This article will explain how cold temperature affects your EV range, why cold weather is a problem for EVs only and some tips on how to get some extra miles from your vehicle.

How Does Cold Weather Affect an Electric Car?

Like any other battery, your electric car’s battery produces electricity through controlled chemical reactions. Since these chemical reactions have an optimum temperature, your battery will be less efficient if temperatures go above or below that range. EVs warm up the battery to get it to the optimal temperature during cold temperatures, thus consuming more energy.

Moreover, passengers in the vehicle will also want to use the heater and other features like heated seats and steering wheel. All these features will also consume power from the battery, which is already affected by the weather.

How Much Range Is Lost?

As mentioned above, the range lost by an EV during cold weather depends on various factors, including the car model, its range in typical weather, and the accessories used.

In a recent Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF) study, their Tesla Model S did 329 miles in conditions between 0 degrees Celsius and -19 degrees Celsius. These figures represent a 16.4 per cent reduction from its official 394-mile claim. Other models, such as the Mercedes EQE 300 and Skoda Enyaq Coupe RS, yielded ranges over 33 per cent down from their official range.

How Can Your Maximise Your EV’s Range in Cold Weather?

Below are some tips you can use to extend your electric vehicle’s range in cold weather:

  • Charge your EV at home: Charging your vehicle at home enables you to start your journey with a full charge. A battery with a full charge will offer the required power for a longer range.
  • Use the pre-heating function: Some EV models allow you to heat the vehicle while it’s plugged in. This feature allows you to save the power you would have consumed from your battery.
  • Check the accessories you use: Do you know that the accessories you use when driving can lower your battery’s range? Features like heating and heated seats will draw charge from your batter, reducing your range.