Tips to Maximize EV Range this Winter
You may not be able to stop Jack Frost from nipping at your nose this winter, but you can certainly keep him from nipping at your electric vehicle. When the temperature drops, so does the performance on your EV and you should expect to experience reduced range in the colder weather. Your battery becomes less and less powerful in colder conditions as it works to heat you, as well as to get you to your destination. As a result, you’re reducing your overall range capacity and increasing your need to charge your EV more often. The need for EV charging in winter is much greater than in the warm summer months.
To avoid unpleasant surprises this season, like running out of power and being stranded in the cold, try these tips to maximize your EV range.
Pre-heat the interior while your EV is still charging: Pre-heating your car while it’s plugged in seems simple enough to remember in the winter time. Get as much power and usage as you can from your charging station to reduce strain while the car is in use. Once you’re heated and charged, you’ll be good to go without putting excess drain on your battery life.
Managing your heat usage: Once the car is heated, turn off the interior heat of the car and turn on the heated seats and heated steering wheel, if you have those options. Heating the vehicles accessories, like the seats and steering wheel, uses less energy and draws less power from the battery, as such you’ll have more overall range on your travels. If you pre-heated the car while it was plugged in, your car should still be warm enough inside that the heated accessories will continue to keep you warm.
Switch to ECO mode: When present, switching to ECO mode, or ECON mode, helps maximize your EV as it reduces power consumption across the board. Using ECO mode during the cold winter months means your acceleration may be a bit slower because you’ll be dedicating more power toward your actual drive. However, we can all agree that less power certainly outweighs running out of power. Otherwise try to accelerate more slowly and keep your driving speeds moderate as high speeds and harsh acceleration use more energy.
If possible, park in a garage: Obviously this is not an available option for everyone, but if you do have a garage, park your vehicle inside to give it a few extra degrees of warmth. During the day while you’re at work or out and about, park in the sunshine. Absorbing natural heat from the sun will certainly keep the battery warm and prolong its usage and the EV range. Every degree of warmth helps when you’re looking at maximizing the vehicle’s overall range.
Remove excess weight from the car: This is simple math. The more weight in the car, the more energy and power it consumes. Be sure to remove the kids’ sports gear and the extra cases of soda you bought at the grocery store. Also be sure to remove any accumulated snow and ice from the exterior as this also adds weight to your vehicle. The bottom line, any extra weight that may require more energy to run your EV should be removed.
Check tire pressure: Of course checking the tire pressure is not unique to EV’s, but in this scenario when you are attempting to maximize your EV range, it makes even more sense to do so. Try checking your tire pressure on a regular basis. Add a reminder or a task to your calendar to check the tire pressure every Sunday to ensure you are set for the coming week.
Benefits of an EV
Tracking ways to maximize your EV range may seem like quite a bit of extra work that you didn’t need to worry about with a traditional vehicle. Those extra steps are well worth it when you look at the long-term benefits of driving an EV.
- The positive impacts to the environment are enormous. As we begin transitioning to electric vehicles, we are taking the initial steps toward a greener tomorrow.
- On a personal level, one of the obvious advantages is no more gas. Think of the accumulated savings to your own bottom line.
- Install a home charging station and you can charge your vehicle from the comforts of your own home.
- Electric vehicles have less parts which means less maintenance.
- Going green can provide additional benefits through tax credits and incentives.