Electric cars are proving they are fun to drive and offer excellent performance. Although they are the latest car tech, cold weather might adversely impact EVs.
More people than ever are driving electric vehicles. The increases made in battery driving range and the variety of electric cars have made them more attractive than ever. Not everyone wanted to drive the Nissan Leaf or small electric hatchbacks like it, but most people can agree they want to drive something. Now that EVs are part of every area of the automotive market, we’re learning more about how temperatures can impact driving ranges and experiences.
All Cars Perform Worse in Cold Weather
At extremely cold temperatures, all vehicles perform worse than when the temperature is above freezing. Diesel fuel is known to turn into a gel-like substance, gas cars are typically 20% less efficient when the temperature is 20 degrees or less, and electric vehicle batteries don’t perform well once the temp drops to 15 degrees. To think that electric vehicles are the only cars that perform worse in cold temperatures would be foolish. That said, the driving range of an EV is impacted more than the other types of vehicles when the mercury begins to fall below freezing.
What Causes the Added Drain on EV Batteries?
It might sound strange, but it’s much more taxing on your electric car to keep the cabin warm when the temperatures are below freezing than to cool down the cabin during the summer months. Extreme temperatures in either direction can impact electric car batteries, but the cold seems to be much worse. The fact that you’ll want to be warm in the extreme cold weather makes it harder for EVs to offer the driving range you desire. The impact on your batteries means less than ideal driving ranges for you.
What Cars Offer Ways to Get Through Winter Best?
Some of the new electric cars offer different features that can make driving around during the cold months of the year much easier than at other times. Most EVs offer more than 200 miles of driving range, which means the winter impact might not change your day-to-day driving, but if you pick a car that’s better equipped for winter, you’ll have the vehicle you want when the colder temperatures arrive.
Consider the Audi e-tron when Searching for the Right EV
If you want to lessen the impact of cold weather on EVs, you’ll want one that has features that make driving in the cold much easier for you. The Audi e-tron has a heat pump and a cold weather package. These items can operate while plugged into a charger. You’ll enjoy the benefits of heated front and rear seats to give you the comfort desired when you’re driving this electric Audi.
BMW Doesn’t Leave You Out in the Cold
Similar to Audi, BMW also has a heat pump system as part of the standard equipment offered. Both the BMW i4 and iX offer this feature to give you an efficient way to make your car warmer and more comfortable. Both of these vehicles also have optional heated seats and steering wheels to give you the warm feeling you want on your hands and rear during your drive. Could one of these BMW EVs be the right car to keep you warm this winter?
Chevy Gives You Another Way to Stay Warm
Both the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV use a resistance heating system, not a heat pump. The base LT trims offer the option of the Comfort and Convenience Package, which brings you some features to keep you warm and comfortable during winter. This package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Premier trim has this package standard and offers the option of heated rear seats as part of the package.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 Offers Better Heating Options
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 might have the best cold weather equipment for EVs. This electric SUV has a heat pump and battery heater on AWD models. This means the battery can be warmed up and might offer better efficiency when driving versus batteries without this heater. Rather than drive around with a less efficient battery in your electric vehicle, you’ll have a warm battery that offers the highest level of efficiency, even when the temperatures drop to below freezing levels.
The Jaguar I-Pace Might be the Luxury Electric SUV You Want to Drive
Jaguar gives you some cold weather gear to make sure you can drive this electric SUV whenever you want. The I-Pace includes a heat pump in every model and offers a cold weather package that gives you a heated windshield and steering wheel. The heated windshield is a nice touch because it could warm up your car and melt snow or ice much faster to make sure you’re not spending a lot of time clearing off these items from your car. Of course, most EVs should be parked in a garage and not out in the cold weather.
What Does the Kia EV6 Offer for Cold Temperatures?
The Kia EV6 is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and has some of the same features. This Kia electric vehicle has standard heated front seats, a heat pump, and a battery pack heater that can be activated in the winter. This feature also improves the speed of DC fast charging in cold weather, making your time at the charging station much less.
Are Tesla Models Equipped for the Cold?
Yes, The Tesla Model Y has a heat pump, and the Model 3 received updates to give it a similar system. The Model S and Model X both include heat pump starting systems to make it much easier to start them. The cold weather doesn’t impact these Tesla EVs as much as other vehicles because they also include a heated system that recovers the waste heat from electronics to make them more efficient during your drive on winter roads.
Cold weather negatively impacts EVs, but the colder temperatures adversely affect all vehicles on the road. Will you choose one of the EVs that has a cold weather package to get the most out of it during the winter?
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