Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with Michelin CrossClimate all-season tyres

How to prepare your electric car for winter

The demand for plug-in electric cars has seen a significant increase particularly in the United Kingdom, after recording close to 100,000 sales in 2020. As winter weather is now here, follow this guide on how to winter-proof your electric vehicle and keep it running even in the harshest weather.

EV batteries

Your batteries are primarily the source of trouble for your electric vehicle when the climate turns cold. A plug-in hybrid may have a normal electric driving range between 30-35 miles; however, it should give you the first clue of the problem when it drops towards ten miles. The weather hinders the chemical process inside your battery. This means it won’t charge and provide as much power as it does during the summer.

Here are recommendations on winter-proofing your EV batteries. Firstly, keep your car moving throughout winter; this means charging and discharging your battery to keep your cabin heater and batteries warm. Also, charge your batteries always to keep them warm.

Precondition

Throughout the colder time of year, remote starting your vehicle for at least 30 minutes before unplugging it from the power source can expand your car’s range. Preconditioning permits the inside of the car to warm up without depleting the battery. You can customise some electric vehicles to start preconditioning at a scheduled time to ensure your vehicle is prepared when you need to move.

Check your tyre pressure

One way to extend your vehicle’s reach during winter is to monitor your tyre pressure. During the cold climate, the level of air in your tyres is more likely to contract. When this happens, your tyre pressure will begin to fall, which will decrease your vehicle’s efficiency. Research has indicated that maintaining proper air pressure extends your car battery range by 3 to 7%. Are you living in a region that sees a lot of snow? It would be best if you considered getting winter tyres to enhance your vehicle handling and safety.

Drive in eco-mode settings 

Like preconditioning, using your car in the eco-mode setting is vital for winter driving. Most EVs have energy-efficient drive settings you can switch to, although it may feel slower than usual. But this is necessary to enhance your car’s range and efficiency. Additionally, eco mode decreases your vehicle motor power output, supporting traction in snow and ice like moving in third gear in traditional vehicles. More so, most modern EVs come with heated seats and steering wheels, which will help with the cold. You can check Beck Evans for reviews on the most recent electric and green cars.

Look for shelter 

Keeping your vehicle out of the breeze and snow will keep its batteries warm. A reasonable approach is to put your car away in the garage. When your vehicle is left outside and the blizzard hits, remove all the built-up snow that impacts your vehicle aerodynamics and drains your batteries. Additionally, driving with snow can cause it to fly off your vehicle and pose a danger to other people.

Treat your windscreen 

Defrosting your windshield depletes the battery. To avert fogging, ensure you use an ammonia-based cleaner to clean your windscreen. Grimy windshields hold dampness, and that can lead to fogging. EV experts have suggested getting a cheap gel dehumidifier desiccant to help you from turning on the defroster. Additionally, install a sufficient windshield wiper to remove the snow and ice.

Drive at 65 mph or less 

Every car consumes more energy when moving at high speed. This is due to the aerodynamics, which increases proportionately with the speed of the vehicle. As a result, your vehicle will require more power to set aside the wind it generates when driving at 30 or 35 mph. In the cold temperatures, your vehicle will need to work harder since your batteries are less efficient. If possible, avoid the highways or drive below 65 mph.

Change to winter tyres 

When the winter climate hits, summer tyres generally don’t perform. Deeper treads and supple rubber tyres offer better traction, improving grip and optimising your braking systems. Therefore, winter tyres are safer during the cold weather temperatures.