Winter Cold Takes Toll on EV Mileage

Winter Cold Takes Toll on EV Mileage

EV Owners Should Watch the Thermometer This Winter
Kip Doyle
electric vehicle

When the cold becomes extra bitter this winter, electric vehicle owners need to be mindful of mileage.

AAA research shows that when the temperature drops to 20°F and the HVAC system is used to heat the inside of the vehicle, the average driving range in electric vehicles (EV) is decreased by 41 percent.

This means for every 100 miles of combined urban/highway driving, the range at 20°F would be reduced to 59 miles. When colder temperatures hit, AAA urges EV owners to be aware of a reduction in range and the need to charge more often to minimize the chance of being stranded by a dead battery.

There are some precautions electric vehicle owners can take during colder and hotter times of year to help offset potential reductions in driving range.

AAA recommends EV drivers:

 Plan ahead. When drivers are aware of the weather conditions before heading out, they can plan for more frequent stops for charging as well as identify the location of charging stations. Drivers can access these locations through AAA’s Mobile app or TripTik Planner.

 Make time to “pre-heat” or cool down the inside of the vehicle while still connected to the charger. This will reduce the demand on the vehicle’s battery to regulate cabin temperature at the onset of driving.

 If possible, park the vehicle in a garage to help stabilize cabin temperature. Earlier this year, AAA WCNY accepted delivery of three SparkCharge Roadie mobile electric vehicle charging units. According to SparkCharge, Roadie is the world’s first and only ultrafast, portable EV charging system. The SparkCharge units can deliver a charge at a rate of up to one mile per minute of charge time.

Roadie units are compatible with most Tesla models as well as many EV vehicles with CHAdeMO Connectors. Upon requesting emergency road service from AAA, dispatchers will determine if the EV can be charged on the roadside or if the vehicle will need to be towed. A mobile EV charge is equivalent to running out of gas under AAA membership guidelines.


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