We are all aware that cold weather may significantly diminish an electric vehicle's range. Indeed, freezing temperatures and inclement weather restrict the range of any car. Carving through snow, starting and running in freezing temperatures, and more time spent idling in slow-moving traffic all limit the range of gasoline cars – frequently by up to 30% – yet we pay less attention in-between fuel stops.
In freezing weather, gasoline-powered automobiles utilize some of the heat generated by the engine to warm the interior of the vehicle. While electric cars are intrinsically more economical, we frequently forget that heating the car and its occupants requires electrical energy. Electrical accessories, such as the heater, are powered by electricity and use energy. Increase the temperature, and you will see a decrease in the projected range of your electric car.
Five suggestions for driving electric vehicles in winter
Here are five approaches for extending the range of your electric car and making winter travel more convenient.
1. Evaluate Your Tires
Tires are a critical component of driving throughout the year, but they are much more acute in the winter. Winter tires provide increased grip and handling in colder climes or locations that receive a lot of snow, but at the sacrifice of some range due to their softer rubber compositions and increased friction. Therefore, it is even more critical to ensure that your tires are appropriately inflated throughout the winter.
2. Set Your electric car's HVAC System to the "Eco" setting.
Apart from driving the automobile, the temperature control system is the most considerable drain on the battery. If an "Eco" setting is available, selecting it will initiate a program to minimize power consumption, often by turning off the HVAC while standing and re-activating it while moving.
3. While the electric car is plugged in, pre-heat it
Almost every electric car on the market now allows you to configure the heater and other accessories to run while the vehicle is plugged in, ensuring that the interior is comfortable before driving away. You avoid using more power to heat the car during the first few kilometers by utilizing this option. Certain electric vehicles even allow you to schedule regular departure times, ensuring that your electric vehicle is pre-heated to the proper temperature each morning. Pre-heating also warms up the battery, ensuring that it works at its optimal temperature before setting out, extending your range even further.
4. Make Use of the Heaters in the Seats and Steering Wheel
Heaters installed in the seats, steering wheel, and in certain cars, even the armrests, are considerably closer to your body than warm air. As a result, these comforts generate heat more effectively, quickly warm you up, and conserve range.
5. Make Use of the Navigation System, Including Stops for Charging
When electric car batteries require charging, they perform optimally if they have been preconditioned or brought to a temperature that allows them to absorb electrons at the fastest possible rate. Many electric cars allow for manual preconditioning through a button or menu on the touchscreen; more advanced models automatically precondition the battery when a charging station is selected as a destination in the navigation system. Preconditioning the electric car battery, especially on a lengthy road trip, dramatically reduces charging times, allowing you to get on the road sooner.
These winter driving guidelines do not apply to all electric cars or climates. Experiment with them one by one to determine their effect on your range and choose the handiest ways for you. If you have any additional excellent winter driving suggestions, please share them with us!