6 Tips for Driving an EV During Winter

6 Tips for Driving an EV During Winter

As the winter season comes around the corner, electric vehicle owners are worrying that driving an EV will be dangerous and will have a negative effect on the range of their car.  More and more people are asking if electric cars are good in winter. The truth is, there is actually nothing to worry about because electric vehicles are still operational even if the temperature is below freezing point.

Cold Weather and EVs

The main question when it comes to the subject of cold weather and electric vehicles is how do electric cars heat in the winter. Electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries. This type of battery works best in 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the weather is cold and temperatures fall below freezing, the batteries will produce a slower, more limited current.

Is driving an electric car different in cold weather? The answer to that question is yes. For fuel-powered vehicles, cold weather issues will easily be countered by simply using a battery thermal management system to keep the battery warm. In the case of EVs, the vehicle will have to take the energy it needs from the same battery that powers it. This will cause the electric car range in winter to lessen.

Here are six EV driving tips for a safer trip in your electric car during the winter:

1. Always Check Your Tire Pressure 

When the temperature drops, your EV’s tire pressure drops along with it. This will lead to a higher rolling resistance and reduced range for the vehicle. In order to ensure safety during your trip, it is best to check your tire pressure regularly, especially when the temperature drops. In doing so, you can save up to 13% of your average range and drive more effectively in the cold.

2. Use Indoor Parking  Spaces

When your EV battery is cold, there is a greater chance of it not performing well or even charging properly. If you decide to take your electric vehicle out for a ride during winter, always look for indoor parking spaces to keep your EV battery warm. If there are no indoor parking spaces in your destination, you can park where your electric vehicle will get direct sunlight. Aside from the advantage of coming back to a warm car, keeping your battery warm during winter is important if you want have an easy and smooth ride whenever you need to.

3. Limit Your Use of Cabin Heating 

When you are out in the cold, you may want to use your HVAC system to keep you warm. But since this is the number one cause of EV battery drainage during the winter, it is important that you limit the use of your heater. Frequent use of your HVAC can decrease your vehicle’s range up to 30%.

What you can do to keep your cabin warm while driving an EV during the winter is preheat your car before you leave and wear warm, comfortable clothing during the ride. You can also purchase a seat and steering wheel warmer to stay warm and comfortable inside the vehicle. This will save you more battery and will keep your engine running longer.

4. Use Your Pre-Timed Heating System

A lot of electric vehicle models are made with a pre-timed heating system that can be customized to automatically turn on even when the battery is still charging. This will keep the cabin warm and comfortable before the journey. This design helps keep the battery warm to perform perfectly and keep the vehicle warm and comfortable in the winter. This EV driving tip can give your vehicle 15% more range.  

5. Use Eco Mode 

Every model of EV has a different eco mode, but all models have eco modes that increase mileage through reducing the energy consumption features of the vehicle. With the use of eco mode, you will have a safer ride during the winter. When the power and energy of the motor are reduced, the car will accelerate at a slower speed and reduce the risk of possible accidents.

6. Drive Safely

The last tip in driving an EV during the winter is to drive safely and conservatively. Too much acceleration, speed, and braking will surely drain your EV battery and cause it to power down quickly. This type of driving is also dangerous for you and your passengers because it can cause accidents on icy roads.  

Driving safely and avoiding harsh braking will allow your EV’s braking system to work perfectly and save your battery’s energy enormously. Keep in mind that during cold weather, your braking system will not be as effective because cold batteries are unable to generate the same energy as warm batteries.

For all of your electric vehicle needs, Northwest Collision Center, an auto body repair shop St. Petersburg, FL provides all types of checkup, maintenance, and repair you might need for your EV. Visit our website to know more about our services or contact us now!

Picture of Greg Descent

Greg Descent

The proprietor of Northwest Collision Center, boasts a remarkable journey in the auto repair industry. Originating from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Greg spent his formative years in California, where he cultivated a deep passion for automotive work. In 1996, he seized the opportunity to acquire Northwest Collision Center, a reputable establishment founded in 1959 and situated on Tyrone Boulevard for over five decades. Greg's hands-on approach and dedication to the business have been pivotal since he first joined the team. Under his leadership, Northwest Collision Center has continued to thrive, maintaining its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality service in the automotive repair sector.

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