Electric Vehicles: A Guide To Driving Them In The Winter

Electric vehicles can offer their owners a host of benefits, from cheaper motoring costs to a clearer conscience. But there are a few considerations when it comes to colder weather. Here’s what you need to know…

Reduced Range

Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on the batteries of electric vehicles. So much so that they can lose up to a shocking 40% of their range; especially when interior heating is used. As a result, it’s important that drivers plan their routes more thoroughly during the colder months and conserve as much power as possible. The best defence is, ultimately, to understand the limitations of battery technology during cold snaps. This will allow drivers to properly prepare.

Increased Charging Time

As well as reduced range, electric vehicles also take longer to charge during particularly cold weather. Why? Cold batteries won’t accept as much energy as warm ones. So it’s important that owners factor in the increased time it’ll take to charge their vehicles whilst on the move; especially during longer journeys. The actual difference in time varies wildly between manufacturers and models. It’s also based on how cold it is in the first place, so it’s impossible to determine an average increase.

Cabin Heat

All drivers, whether they’re using a petrol, diesel, hybrid or EV, share something in common when it comes to winter. They use their heating systems. Whether it’s to de-ice the exterior or simply to stop their fingers from dropping off, heating systems are considered a necessity by most motorists. For electric vehicles, heating systems can place major strain on their charge. In fact, they’re basically the second-largest source of power consumption after the propulsion motor. So in especially cold weather, consider wrapping up in a few extra layers rather than relying on the car’s heating.

Parking Considerations

Regardless of its powertrain, parking a vehicle close to a building during poor weather is good practice. Doing so can protect it from at least some of the elements and, in some cases, keep it at a slightly higher temperature. Whilst doing this for traditional vehicles can make it easier to de-ice them, it makes an even bigger difference for EVs. If you can park inside, do so. Otherwise, try to park in direct sunlight. Doing so will mean that your battery will be warmer (not to mention the interior).

Tyre Pressures 

Tyres are tyres, whether they’re attached to an electric vehicle or not. But nearly all drivers overlook them during the winter. Cooler temperatures cause rubber to contract and pressure to fall. For every 10 degrees the temperature falls, you lose around 1 – 2 Ibs of air pressure. This leads to more friction of the roads and reduces overall efficiency. Make sure to check your tyre pressures and tread depth regularly. If they have to work harder, your range will be negatively affected.

EV Drivers Will Get To Choose Their Engine Sounds – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/ev-drivers-will-get-to-choose-their-engine-sounds/

Car Features That’ll Keep You Warm This Winter – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/car-features-thatll-keep-you-warm-this-winter/

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

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