Electric Cars in Cold Weather

Tesla electric car in cold weather

Winter is coming and if this is your first time driving an EV in the colder months, we have everything you need to know how to look after it in sub-zero conditions and maximise your EV driving experience.

Cold weather can have an impact on the batteries in EVs because they are sensitive to temperatures and unless you have the constitution of a polar bear, you’ll need more juice to keep the car warm too. Even though most journeys are a lot shorter than the full range available, it’s good to know how to keep a little juice available.

We explain how to look after your car’s battery and much much more.

Keep your car indoors

A no brainer right? Common sense suggests that the best way to stop your car being affected by chilly overnight temperatures is to not leave it outside in the chilly temperatures overnight.

So if you have a garage to store your car, keep it in there on winter nights to keep the battery as warm as possible.

If you can’t, cover it with a tarp to stop the windscreen, windows and doors from freezing up.

Keep the battery charged

Do electric cars lose charge in winter? Yes, like us, our car battery doesn’t care for cold temperatures, so it’s even more important to ensure that you’ve charged it up fully before driving the car.

This will help ensure you don’t get caught out by a battery that isn’t performing as well as you’re used to.

window with snow on it

Use preconditioning

Most EVs allow users to set the interior heating to come on at a pre-determined time and this is a bonus for both the car and your own comfort when things are getting chilly out there.

Preconditioning will not only raise the temperature enough to hopefully defrost the car for you as well as making it nice and warm before you get in, but will also warm the battery for optimal performance, giving you more range.

Don’t over use the heating

Another reason for using preconditioning is that by getting the temperature to your desired setting before you get in should hopefully mean you don’t need to blast it out while you’re actually driving.

Heating systems are the number one battery drain in winter, decreasing your range by up to 30%, so rather than blasting the heat for your whole journey, utilize your heated seats as they use less energy.

Drive in Eco Mode

Tweaking your driving style can help you to win back lost range.

Your EV may have an eco mode designed to reduce power consumption and increase range and these can help you drive safely in wintry conditions because the reduced power means less chance of wheel spins.

Try not to accelerate or brake more than you really need to, all of which will help you to gain back a little range. Easy!

Looking to lease an EV this winter? Check out our best deals here.

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