If you use an electric vehicle all year round, you will notice that you do not get the same driving range every time you drive, despite that the battery remains the same. Many factors affect how long your EV lasts on the road before you charge it. You might be surprised to learn that the weather affects how much range you can get from your EV.
In this article, we show you why cold weather affects your driving range and what you can do to minimise the effect.
What happens to your driving range when the weather gets cold?
In simple terms, your driving range takes a hit, meaning you will get fewer miles out of your battery. This is because EV batteries and cold weather do not mix. Why is this so?
Let’s look at how charging and discharging work first. Most EVs in the market use lithium-ion batteries. When you charge these batteries, the process is carried out by the movement of electrons, which causes a chemical reaction. During the discharging, which happens when you drive around, the direction of the electrons is reversed.
With the temperature cold, the rate of the chemical reaction slows down, causing inefficiencies. You can understand this better by comparing it to how the human body slows down during the cold! The end result is that it takes considerably longer times to charge, and in the same way, less driving range.
In frigid weather, like when it snows, your driving range could go as low as half. However, cold weather does not render EVs useless. Your EV will serve you regardless of the weather by taking some practical steps, a reminder when you travel to these cold countries in winter.
What can you do to minimise the effect of cold weather on your EV?
Some EV makers try several methods to mitigate the effect of cold weather on the battery, to varying degrees of success. If you have such a car, the loss could be minimal. One of them is equipping the vehicle with a heat pump instead of drawing power from the battery to operate a car heater.
However, regardless of the effort put in by the manufacturer, there are steps you can take to get the most out of your battery when the weather is cold. For example, pre-condition the battery by starting the car while it is still plugged in for some minutes before driving off. This will allow you to heat the cabin and warm up the battery.
You should also find ways to reduce battery usage. Instead of heating the whole cabin when driving alone, use localised heating like warming up the steering wheel or the driving seat.
Reduce the weight in your car and also avoid towing as they will make your battery go down faster. Take every opportunity to charge as you go about your day to have as much battery as possible.
The best way to charge your EV is by installing your own charging station. This will let you charge anytime you want and for as long as you need. However, installing EV charging stations is best left to the experts. If you live in Singapore, the best in the business is the SuperCharge team. We ensure a hassle-free and cost-effective installation whether you are installing at home or for your business.