Myth Buster: EVs don't drive well in winter weather

January 11, 2021

Myth: EVs don’t dri­ve well in win­ter weather.

Myth Busted: EVs are great in win­ter weath­er because of their weight dis­tri­b­u­tion and maneu­ver­abil­i­ty. There is no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between dri­ving an EV and dri­ving an inter­nal com­bus­tion oth­er than a drop in range.

As Col­orado dri­vers, one of the most impor­tant facets of buy­ing a new car is know­ing how well it dri­ves in the win­ter. We get our fair share of ice and snow, espe­cial­ly up in the moun­tains, and we need vehi­cles that are reli­able in this kind of weather.

With elec­tric vehi­cles (EVs) becom­ing more pop­u­lar across the state, there is a ques­tion that needs to be answered: Do EVs dri­ve well in the winter?

Elec­tric vehi­cles are actu­al­ly great cars for win­ter dri­ving. This is because the weight is dis­persed more even­ly on the bot­tom of the vehi­cle, allow­ing for bet­ter han­dling and mak­ing them hard­er to flip. Addi­tion­al­ly, many EVs have dual motors on the front and back axels, mak­ing for bet­ter maneuverability.

The only time EVs real­ly strug­gle is on steep inclines or in very deep snow, some­thing that all non-4WD vehi­cles expe­ri­ence. Putting win­ter tires on your EV or car­ry­ing snow chains, as you would for an inter­nal com­bus­tion vehi­cle, helps tremendously.

While EVs don’t han­dle poor­ly in the win­ter, they do expe­ri­ence a drop in range in cold­er weath­er, main­ly because dri­ving on snow-cov­ered roads requires more ener­gy than dry pave­ment. The heater also drops the range by 10–15%. On the bright side, since it takes more ener­gy to heat up your EV than it does to keep it at a high­er tem­per­a­ture, you can min­i­mize the drop in range by pre-heat­ing your vehi­cle while it is still charg­ing. It is impor­tant to note that inter­nal com­bus­tion vehi­cles also expe­ri­ence a drop in range in the win­ter, but it is less pro­nounced com­pared to an EV.

Source: Trans­portE­volved. “Win­ter Weath­er and Elec­tric Cars: Here's What You Need To Know.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Nov. 2018,

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