5 Tips for EV Driving in Cold Weather

January 12, 2021

5 Tips for EV Driving in Colder Weather

No mat­ter how chilly it gets, EV dri­vers have no rea­son to fear. While cold weath­er can affect your range, you can still get where you’re going in an EV.

Cold weath­er can reduce range because bat­ter­ies are at their most effi­cient between 60 to 80 degrees Fahren­heit. The cli­mate con­trol sys­tems in your car rely on your bat­tery to run, so your range can take a dou­ble hit if you crank up the heat. But don’t wor­ry, we’re here to help you keep zoom­ing around on elec­trons this winter. 

Here are some help­ful tips for EV dri­ving in cold weather. 

1. Precondition when plugged in 

Take advan­tage of being plugged in at home, work or around town. Most mod­ern EVs let you use an app or your key fob to start heat­ing (or cool­ing, in sum­mer… or in Ari­zona) the car before you get in. Pre­con­di­tion your car while you’re plugged in so your car is the right temp when you start your dri­ve, with­out using your bat­tery capac­i­ty. It’s super con­ve­nient to do this right in your garage. 

2. Use heated seats and steering wheels 

Heat­ed seats and steer­ing wheels are more effi­cient (because they warm up your body direct­ly) and use less ener­gy than the heater, so using them won’t have as much of an impact on your range. Make the most of these con­ve­nient acces­sories to keep toasty in the win­ter. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant on short trips if you don’t pre­con­di­tion your car. 

3. Dress warm and drink up 

You’re prob­a­bly already bundling up to go out­side, so keep your win­ter wear on in the car. This will save you time and you and your coat will be warm when you get out at your des­ti­na­tion. (To stay extra cozy, fill up your ther­mos with a hot bev­er­age or swing by the cof­fee shop en route.) 

Tip: Use the Charge­Point app to find a charg­ing spot near your favorite cof­fee shop. 

4. Be nice to your battery 

Bat­ter­ies like con­sis­ten­cy, so when pos­si­ble, avoid run­ning your bat­tery super low or DC fast charg­ing it a lot. While that’s always a good idea, it becomes espe­cial­ly impor­tant in extreme tem­per­a­tures. Aim to stay between 20 and 80 per­cent charged when­ev­er you can to max­i­mize bat­tery effi­cien­cy and longevity. 

5. Give others a helping hand 

EVs have a big advan­tage in the cold: they start right up, usu­al­ly with the push of a but­ton. No more crank­ing your key and floor­ing the gas ped­al to start an inter­nal com­bus­tion engine as you watch your breath freeze before your eyes and inhale gas fumes. In fact, your EV just might help jump-start a gas car this winter. 

A Kia Niro charges up at Charge­Point Express 250 sta­tions in Norway. 

Does the thought of dri­ving an EV in win­ter still leave you feel­ing cold? Maybe it will help you to know that frigid Ice­land, Swe­den and Nor­way are among the top coun­tries for EVs, and Cana­da is home to thou­sands of hap­py EV dri­vers. Plus, there are dri­vers using Charge­Point in all 50 states and all 13 provinces and ter­ri­to­ries. No mat­ter where you live or how low the mer­cury dives, rest easy know­ing you can dri­ve elec­tric with Charge­Point on your side. 

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https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtmlThank you to Colleen Jansen from Charge­Point for allow­ing us to repost this guest blog arti­cle. Access the orig­i­nal here. 

For more tips about how to improve your fuel econ­o­my in the win­ter, read this arti­cle from fueleconomy.gov. Note: most of these tips will apply for PHEVs, not BEVs. 

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