When purchasing an Electric Vehicle (EV), ensure you are well-read on the benefits and risks prior to signing the dotted line. One of the most common questions associated with EVs is their ability to tolerate cold weather. Lithium-ion batteries do not perform well in cold, frigid weather, and many EV batteries are lithium-ion equipped. However, don’t let a slight decrease in overall battery performance affect your judgement of EVs. We dive deeper and examine how winter weather affects driving range. 

Many EVs boast a driving range – the distance it can drive without being charged – some up to 500 miles, but the inconsistent presence of charging stations throughout the country makes the range a legitimate concern for many potential owners. Combine this with a decrease in range thanks to battery reduction in cold weather, and it could become an issue. 

All vehicles (gas-powered, hybrid, and electric) are taxed more during extreme temperatures and cannot function at their peak performance. At 20° F, conventional gasoline vehicles generally see a 20% reduction in fuel economy, according to FuelEconomy.gov. However, it’s often more noticeable with an all-electric vehicle where drivers depend on knowing their exact range in order to reach their travel destinations.

The colder the temperature, the more power is required to keep warm and function properly. EV batteries are susceptible to freezing temperatures due to the drop in warmth which affects the battery’s ability to produce essential chemical reactions. Research shows that while battery performance drops during frigid weather, it can lower the driving range by as much as 41 percent in some cases.

Gas-powered vehicles receive natural heat from combustible engines, which can be redirected to the cabin when necessary. No engine means EVs rely on energy-intensive resistance or heat-pump style heaters instead. Moreover, the darker winter months require headlights to run longer, defogging, de-icing, and more. All of these extra mechanics suck up power from the battery. 

To maximize your EV’s winter weather range, follow these tips: 

  • Make sure your battery is above 20 percent before starting up
  • Use heat efficiently and don’t warm the back cabin if there are no passengers
  • Park in a garage whenever possible
  • Inflate your tires to achieve the best efficiency
  • Drive in eco- or conserve mode to limit energy consumption
  • Install winter tires to improve snow, ice, and slush driving conditions
  • Pre-heat your EV while it’s still plugged in 
  • Utilize heated seats/steering wheels instead of heating the entire cabin with heat

Many EV owners enjoy running their EVs year-round, despite a slight drop in performance. If you are concerned about these factors, look for a plug-in hybrid EV that can use gasoline if necessary. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

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