Do Electric Vehicles Work in Cold Weather: EV Driving Tips

Do Electric Vehicles Work in Cold Weather: EV Driving Tips

by / Wednesday, 16 December 2020 / Published in Tips
Electric vehicle charging in the winter.

Choosing the right car takes a lot of thought. Everyone has unique needs for their car and for many people, that means a car that helps them lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle while reducing the long-term costs of owning a car. Because of this, electric vehicles have become a more common sight on the roads in recent years as charging stations became more widely available and the costs of electric vehicles have come down.

Any time the seasons change, it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for the changes in weather that come along with it and electric vehicles are no exception. For example, tires that were properly inflated in warmer weather might have a sudden drop in air pressure when the temperature drops. And when you’re facing days of driving on ice and snow, you’ll need to make sure your tires aren’t worn so that your car will be able to maintain a good grip on the road. But while a lot of car winterization tips that work for regular cars also work for electric vehicles, electric vehicles do have some unique needs to consider during the winter months.

One of the biggest concerns people have about electric vehicles is the range of the vehicle, or how many miles an EV can be driven between charges. Range can depend on several different factors, but it’s important to remember that batteries in electric vehicles can be very vulnerable to cold temperatures. Not only can cold temperatures cause EV batteries to take longer to charge, they also have the potential to significantly impact your battery performance and the last thing you want is to get stranded out in the cold with a dead battery.

Tips for Caring for your EV Battery in the Winter

To get the most out of your battery, one simple thing you can do is be mindful about where you park your car. Indoor parking, such as a garage or covered parking structure can help keep your car just a little bit warmer than it would be when parked outside. However, if indoor parking isn’t an option, try to park your car in an area that gets a lot of sunlight to help keep it warm.

On a cold day, the first thing you might do after turning on your car is turn on the heat. But keep in mind that car heating and cooling systems can drain an EV’s battery and substantially reduce your range. If your car has features like heated car seats and/or a heated steering wheel, those can help you stay warm with less strain on the battery.

Since cold temperatures can have such a big impact on EV battery life, another thing you can do to help counteract it is to precondition your car while it’s plugged in. In many cases, EVs have apps or keyfobs that can be used to have the car start warming before you leave while it’s still plugged in, giving it an extra boost without draining the battery.

Using your car’s eco mode setting is another great way to get more out of your battery charge. This setting allows your car’s engine to use energy more efficiently, helping to extend your range. When you use this setting, it can feel like your car is less powerful, but this has the benefit of improving traction in icy and snowy conditions.

Help After a Winter Car Accident

Even when you take all the right steps to stay safe while driving during the winter, it’s still possible to end up the victim of a car accident. Very often, car accidents in the winter are caused by people driving too fast for the conditions. If you’re injured during a car accident, one of the best things you can do is get in touch with a car accident lawyer. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to a lawyer experienced in helping Michigan car accident victims to get the compensation they need. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your case.

Image: iStock / Scharfsinn86