As we get deeper into Autumn and cold winter nights on the horizon, now is the perfect time to think about driving your EV in cold weather and the steps you can take to ensure you never get caught out in the cold! While temperatures and necessary precautions vary from one location to another, we have put together some general tips every EV driver should consider during the colder months. The four quick tips below will help you to get the best out of your EV this winter!
1. Wear Warm Clothes When Driving
We all know how important air conditioning is during the winter but did you know using it on high heat can also drain your battery and affect your range. By dressing a bit warmer you won’t need to have your air conditioning on as high a setting and therefore won’t drain your battery as quickly. An extra fun benefit of this trick is that by being more economical with your energy usage you are also being extra environmentally friendly!
2. Keep Your Battery Warm
The colder it is, the harder your EV battery has to work. This is because it is using energy not only to power the car but also to heat itself. This isn’t only the case for EVs but all types of battery-powered devices. Unfortunately, this extra energy wasted means you have less power to put towards driving, reducing your range.
It is recommended that you plug in your vehicle as often as possible to avoid losing power. Be extra conservative with your range estimates when planning longer trips and plan routes with frequent charging stops to ensure a successful journey. It is also recommended that you clean ice and snow off your vehicle before driving to avoid drawing additional energy from the battery and you should try to park in the sun whenever possible.
It is recommended that you keep your battery level at a minimum of 20% in cold conditions as temperatures can change rapidly and this has a knock-on effect on charge and range.
3. Precondition Your EV
It is also recommended that you precondition your electric vehicle before driving whenever possible. You can begin to warm your battery and vehicle while it is still plugged in - this ensures it isn’t cold when you start your journey. Doing this also helps to increase the temperature of the interior of your car, giving your battery a head start and making trips on chilly winter days a lot more pleasant! This trick works because your battery and car interior are being heated by the power of the charging unit, rather than the car’s battery charge so you can save your power for driving and hit the road with a full battery.
4. Watch Your Speed
There are two benefits to being more mindful of your speed while driving an EV in cold weather. The first and most obvious reason isn’t explicit to EVs. Winter driving conditions can be more dangerous and treacherous. Winter weather can lead to slippery roads, reduced visibility, snow fog and more. It is far easier to lose control of your vehicle in these conditions at higher speeds so being more mindful of your speed is far safer.
Additionally, faster driving speeds force your battery to work much harder, draining your battery and reducing your range. As we’ve already discussed, it is vital to preserve battery power during cold weather driving. Prioritise efficiency over speed when driving and avoid routes that require a brisk driving speed.
Don’t get caught out in the cold this Winter. At UFODRIVE our app has been designed to take the stress out of driving, even in colder weather. Our apps route planning and battery alerts make winter trips a breeze. Our dedicated customer service team are also on hand to help with any issues or worries you may have so you can drive in confidence. Book your next UFODRIVE adventure today!