Electric vehicles have, over the past few years, been creeping slowly into the mainstream. The government has announced its intention to ban the sale of traditional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and the charging infrastructure is steadily developing, year-upon-year. Many of the concerns that stood in the way of adoption have thus been dispensed with.
With that said, electric vehicles still have a reputation for suffering during the winter-time. The weakness is such that manufacturers like Tesla have gone out of their way to market their vehicles in snowy conditions. Lithium-ion batteries tend to suffer from the cold, because the fluids inside them become viscous, and incapable of transmitting power quite as effectively. Moreover, regenerative braking tends to suffer during spells of especially cold weather.
In the long-term, these issues may be solved by new technology, with solid-state batteries being among the most promising of these.
We should bear in mind that UK drivers don’t have to contend with extremes of temperature quite as severe as might be encountered elsewhere in the world, and that what’s a concern in Alberta might not be such a problem in Berkshire. And even then, there are ways of limiting the damage.
Don’t drain the battery
If you allow the battery to get too low, then you risk being unable to start the car in the first place. Allowing the battery to fully discharge will limit its effective lifespan. And, during wintry conditions, this is a problem that’ll get worse.
Keep the Car Indoors
If you have the capability, you should store your EV in a garage during winter-time. If you don’t, then you might consider an insulating car cover. This will limit the temperature loss on those frosty mornings.
Warm the Car before heading out
While your car is plugged into mains power, you can use it to get the car warmed up before you set out. That means getting both the interior to the desired temperature, and the engine, too. This will limit the amount of demand that’s placed on the battery. In some cases, you’ll have the ability to get the car started remotely, via an app. The Audi E-tron, a popular choice for personal leasing, provides just this function.
Limit the heating while you’re out
When you crank the heating to deal with the cold weather, you’re placing strain on the battery. If you have heated seats, then you might use them as an alternative – since they put heat directly into your body, they tend to be a more efficient means of staying toasty.
Use Eco Mode
If your vehicle has an eco-mode, then you might use it to increase efficiency at the cost of performance. If not, you can always adjust your driving to make things that little bit more fuel efficient. Keep your speed low, and the ride smooth!