Myth: Running the A/C in an EV will kill your battery

July 19, 2023

Myth: You can't run the A/C in an EV with­out killing your battery. 

Myth Bust­ed: Run­ning the A/C in an EV in 90°F weath­er results in a range loss of only 5% on aver­age.

There are many instances that would lead peo­ple to believe that run­ning the A/C in an EV would sig­nif­i­cant­ly deplete the bat­tery range. For starters, it is known that EV range is impact­ed by cold weath­er tem­per­a­tures, so why wouldn't the same be true for hot weath­er temperatures?

In the win­ter time, there is a larg­er dif­fer­ence between a desir­able tem­per­a­ture inside the car and out­side. This requires more ener­gy to bal­ance the tem­per­a­ture inside your vehi­cle. How­ev­er, in the sum­mer time there is a much small­er dif­fer­ence between a desir­able tem­per­a­ture inside the car and out­side. So run­ning the A/C in an EV is much less ener­gy demand­ing than run­ning the heat.

The required range inten­si­ty for cool­ing an EV can be fur­ther reduced through easy efforts such as uti­liz­ing sun shades, park­ing inside or in a shady spot, as well as cool­ing your EV while plugged in.

A bat­tery analy­sis con­duct­ed on over 7,500 EVs found that run­ning the A/C in 85°F (29°C) weath­er had lit­tle to no impact on the range. Even when the out­door tem­per­a­ture rose to 90°F (32°C), the analy­sis indi­cat­ed only a min­i­mal aver­age range loss of 5%. This analy­sis debunks the myth that you can't run the A/C in an EV with­out killing your battery.

For more infor­ma­tion and a fur­ther look into A/C impacts on range by vehi­cle make and mod­el vis­it: https://www.recurrentauto.com/research/what-a-c-does-to-your-range?

Source: Hough, Blake. What A/C does to your range. Sum­mer sur­vival guide for elec­tric cars. 

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