Winter is coming. Temperatures are dropping. Just like a gas-fueled car, an electric vehicle’s performance is also affected by the cold. Here are a few things you can do to get the most range out of your EV all winter long.
Pre-Heat While Plugged In
This is the most important way to conserve your battery in winter. Heating your car while it’s still plugged in will help conserve the battery, so you don’t lose range warming up a freezing car.
You can also take advantage of your vehicle’s settings by choosing a departure time and warming up the battery while it’s still charging. Most EVs offer this option.[i]
Get a Level 2 Station
The best way to alleviate range anxiety in the winter is to make sure you leave each morning with a full battery. So, if you don’t have a Level 2 station by now, winter is the time to do it. Charging with a Level 1 plugged into a standard wall outlet is slow and can take more than a day to fully charge your battery, and even longer in the cold.
The FLO Home is a Level 2 charging station that will drastically cut down your charging time by four-fifths. It’s also made in Canada and proven to withstand our harsh winters. Get more info on the FLO Home here.
Putting on the heater full-blast will deplete your battery at a faster rate. Use your seat and steering wheel heaters if you have them. They’ll use less battery, and you’ll still get some warmth.
On the other hand, turning on the heater after it’s been off for a while actually takes up more energy when it’s freezing outside. If you keep the heater on at a lower temperature, this will save you energy.
Finally, bundling up will also help you cope with using less heat. But if you live in the Great White North, you’re probably already geared up for intense winters. 😉
Another setting you should use in winter is your vehicle’s Eco-Mode. This option lowers the energy output, which will save you battery power and range.
Park in Warmer Places
If you have the option, park inside a garage rather than keeping your EV outside where it’s freezing. The warmer your car, the better. As mentioned, heating it up will take power out of your EV.
During the day, if you don’t have a garage to park in, park in as much direct sunlight as you can get. This will help keep the interior and the battery warmer.
Drive at a Steady Pace
Driving at a higher speed uses more energy, but especially so in the cold. Make sure to drive at a reasonable pace as heavy braking and accelerating will deplete your battery. When you’re thinking of speeding up to pass someone just remember – the more you floor the acceleration the more range you lose.
Also, use regenerative braking when possible to save energy. Regenerative braking will make your engine go in reverse mode to slow it down, thus putting energy back into your battery. [ii]
Getting the Most Range in Winter
The cold will affect your EV’s performance, but with proper planning and making the most of all the options available, you can still get plenty of range from your beloved electric car this winter.