Weather conditions is something to have in mind in many aspects of live, also when you have to choose what kind of vehicle will you use. Adverse climatic conditions, especially extreme temperatures, can affect the Electric Vehicle range, one of the issues that worries the drivers of these vehicles. But there are many experiences that prove that EV is perfect for the harsh winter or the hot summer. Of course, there are always tricks that help you improve its range.
Do high or low temperatures affect the range of the vehicle?
Yes, it’s clear from a long time that it affects combustion engine cars due to the usage of heating and air conditioning systems. Obviously, this also happens with Electric Vehicles and drivers are more worried about it due to anxiety range, one of the main concerns of EV drivers. This, however, improves together with batteries and EV range.
According to some researches air conditioning and heating systems produce the same effect regarding loss of range, but this range is a little better in hot weather because electric engine works more efficiently. Besides, there are some recommendations to improve the range. Some of them are obvious, like park in a closed space or in the shade in summer to preserve the right temperature. Other recommendation is to use preheating or precooling devices or tools that most of these vehicles have. To start your trip off with a comfortable temperature using any battery power, run the AC system before you unplug from a charger. Once the car is cooled, keep it a lower setting or use the fan to maximize battery life.
It is possible to adopt efficient driving strategies, that are always recommendable, but even more when we want to safe battery and be able to drive longer using cooling or heating systems. Here some recommendations:
Acceleration and baking: Smooth acceleration and braking will get you the most from an electric car battery. Besides, driving with your foot off the accelerator allows for regenerative braking action to add charge back to your battery.
Avoid high speeds: High speeds drain the battery at much faster rates than low speeds. Battery lasts more time driving in urban areas that driving in highways.
Stereo use: In a gas-powered car, the engine propels the vehicle, but in a plug-in model, the battery supplies the power for the motor, stereo and every other function that requires energy. When the temperatures are especially high or low the battery suffers more that is why it is important to safe energy, for example, with the use of the radio.
ECO Settings: Manufacturers of EVs and plug-in hybrids help do the work for drivers with ECO settings that limit power output. You will feel less punch when you floor the accelerator, but it definitely helps keep a battery from draining faster than it should.
Travel light: Extra weight inside of the vehicle cam affect battery life, so travel light. Roof racks and flags also have an effect on car efficiency (as it happens with gas-powered cars), so it’s better to avoid them if it’s possible.
Electric vehicle, a perfect winter car
Beyond range reduction, a fact that becomes less important with technologic advances and better batteries, Jukka Kukkonen explains in an article in Clean Technica that, according to his experience, EVs are a great choice as winter cars.
Kukkonen explains how batteries make them a bit heavier than traditional cars and this improves the traction. Electric drivetrain is very smooth and although it produces full torque from standstill, controlling the power in slippery conditions is very easy. EVs are also a good choice to drive in slippery surface, electronic traction control will move more power to the wheel that has more traction and electronic stability control keeps the car nicely in control in low traction driving conditions. Electric motors also make the all wheel drivetrains more simple, affordable and efficient so we can expect to see more all wheel drive cars in the future. These are some of the advantages explained in the article.