Winter driving, the electric way

Electric car battery life

The cooler weather is undoubtedly having an impact on us all – as we feel the cold, it slows us down and we try adapt and make the necessary changes to move around at temperatures our bodies aren’t naturally comfortable with. Saving your electric car battery life also saves on your costs. The effects on humans are similar to electric vehicles – the battery will become more sluggish as it attempts to manage.

During winter, the EV battery is challenged by an increase in use as the drive demands more heat, with pressure on measures to manage condensation etc, as well as a wider push to tackle the elements outside. The battery will also react adversely when charged as it naturally slows down to protect its integrity and performance.

These are some useful tips to follow that will help you manage in freezing conditions, allowing you to maintain your miles and stay ahead in your journey:

Don’t go low
Make sure that you don’t allow your battery to fall too low as this will affect how quickly it can power up.

Explore your vehicles preconditioning function. This will vary according to model but by preconditioning, you will maintain a steady and power saving temperature for both the battery life and cabin.

Think about heat
Blasting the heating will have an immediate effect on the battery. If you use the preconditioning function, then consider using heated seats only once in the electric car which will help preserve battery life – this draws far less energy that opting for the main heating function.

Pump up your tyres
As the cold kicks in, tyre pressure can fall dramatically. Tyres that aren’t fully inflated can create unnecessary friction with the road which will impact on the efficiency of the vehicle, absorbing more power on the road.

Keep your car warm
Keep your car inside, in a garage where possible, especially if there is a heat source.

Stay on top
It will take longer to charge your battery in colder weather so charge more often. Keep your battery as fully charged as possible and make it common practise to plug in every night – something which you may not typically do in warmer weather.

Power down
Most electric vehicles have eco modes which in effect will allow you to power down certain functions (this will vary according to model) – explore how this can help you save and store more power.

Being aware of the cold weather and following the above will undoubtedly help and allow you to get the most from your electric vehicle in Winter. Planning as ever with an EV is key and over-arching awareness of this being a different type of driving experience.

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