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Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Why EVs Lose Range Quickly in Cold Temperatures

Many motorists are switching to electric vehicles right now and this is for good reason. Switching to an electric car allows motorists to make huge savings over the long term and it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Additionally, there are now many models available, and the charging infrastructure is constantly growing. Despite this, many people are finding that their EV loses range during the colder months, and this can be a cause for concern.

How EV Batteries Work

While it is concerning if you find that your EV is unable to travel as far on a single charge during the colder months, you should rest assured that this is a common problem relating to the battery. The cold weather can impact range because EV batteries use chemical reactions to store and release electricity and these reactions are slowed down in cold temperatures. Additionally, charging speeds from rapid chargers may take longer. For most, the change in range will not be too much of an issue, though, particularly as the UK has a relatively mild climate compared to other areas.

What Drivers Can do About it

You will also find that there are a few things that you can do to reduce the impact that cold weather can have on EV range. While there is not much that you can do about the weather, you can find ways to keep your car warm during the cold months. One of the most effective options is to insulate the roof of a garage, should you have one, which will help a great deal to keep the warmth in and the cold air out when the vehicle is parked at home. You can also pre-heat the cabin while the car is plugged in, which will prevent battery energy from being used to heat the car (this will also maximise range). You should also drive slowly to increase efficiency and turn up the level of regenerative braking (although it is best switched off in extreme weather).

How Much of a Change Can You Expect

You will also find that the difference in range during cold weather spells will vary between different electric cars and some are better than others. Whatcar carried out a test that found that 4 popular EVs lost on average 17% of their range in winter compared to July.

It is easy to panic if your EV suddenly loses range, but this is to be expected and is a common issue. Batteries do not perform to the same level when the temperature drops, so this is something that EV owners need to be aware of. There are things that you can do to reduce the impact of this, which will hopefully allow you to avoid any issues when it comes to range and charging during the coldest months of the year.