Electric cars are way cheaper to use than ordinary ICE cars, particularly, due to easier maintenance.  You don't need to regularly change the oil, numerous filters, spark plugs, etc. The only thing that needs to be checked from time to time is the presence of current leaks and extraneous noise. Although electric engines are quite simple and reliable, they are still not perfect: what's more, the perfect engine has not yet been invented. EVs also have their weaknesses. One of them is a drop in power reserve in sub-zero temperatures. However, there are solutions that can minimize this effect and even eliminate it in some cases.

What's the Problem?

Due to their design and operation principle batteries rely on the ambient temperature. In some places, EVs feel quite comfortable in winter. However, in colder weather conditions, the EV requires much more attention.

At subzero temperatures, the ability of batteries to retain charge is significantly reduced. The lower the air temperature, the worse the electrochemical reactions inside the battery cells.

The figures on the control panel are not really trustworthy in this case. Sometime after the start of driving, the electronics change the data relying on the ambient temperature and battery status, and correct the initial figures. In addition to the air temperature, the remaining power reserve is reduced due to extra energy consumers, e.g.the interior heater or headlights, which have to be turned on earlier in winter.

After all, the power reserve in winter can be reduced by 25-30%. In some EVs this number is even higher.

How to Extend the Range?

Warm up the Battery and the EV Itself

This option is now available in most middle-class and premium electric cars. Obligatory warm-up maintains the operating temperature of the battery cells ensuring their correct work when electricity is released. Outlet warm-up (i.e. during charging) enables not only to reach the optimal battery temperature but also warm up the interior to a comfortable temperature before the trip, without spending the charge at the same time. Thus, a long (night) parking for your EV should be equipped with a suitable socket.

Store Your EV in Comfortable Conditions

The best place to store and charge is an closed garage. It will save the car from overcooling so that it will warm up much faster. A heated parking lot with a stable temperature would be the best option, but the "cold" one is suitable as well: the temperature drop is noticeable but it will not be as sharp as outside.

Limit the Dynamics

The more dynamic the ride, the more energy your EV will consume. In winter, this effect will be enhanced by aerodynamic resistance (due to stronger winds), as well as road resistance because of ice and snow.  Accordingly, to reduce costs, you'd better move smoothly. Besides, this way is much safer. If your EV has eco-mode, you can opt for it.

Monitor the Condition of the Battery's Metal Shielding

In most modern EVs, the batteries are located in the dirtiest area – in the floor. The metal shielding insulates the battery from dirt, salts and snow, as well as ensures tightness when driving through deep puddles. Before the checking the EV, its floor is usually washed. It is only good for you. The temperature control will work fine without deposits and "stalactites" underneath.

Choose the Right Tires

You'd better choose specialized EV tires. They have lower rolling resistance, which reduces energy costs and allows the recovery system to work as efficiently as possible. If choosing among non-specialized tires, you should pay attention to the fuel consumption indicator that can be found on the sticker glued to the new tire.

Dec 20, 2022
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