Driving an electric car in winter can be challenging, especially because of the very cold temperatures.
It is often the case that such cars run only for a shorter distance in comparison to other times of the year even if your car battery is fully charged. This is referred to by electric car owners as the range drop issue because the batteries are not as warm as they are in summer to function as efficiently and effectively. Here in this article let’s discuss about 6 important tips to drive electric cars in winter.
Driving Electric Car in Cold Weather
The difficulty of driving an electric car increases with the increasing dip in temperature. Often, the battery efficiency of an electric vehicle drops by about 12% when the weather is very cold. However, let this not get you thinking that you will never be able to drive your electric car comfortably in winter. If you’re wondering how to drive electric cars in winter, then here are some basic tips you can try to minimize the driving effort.
1. Charge the EV battery
It’s a known fact that EV batteries have to be charged from time to time to offer the range specified. Winter is no different. Do a daily charge of the battery overnight as the vehicle is often idle at this time. Of course, you can choose any other time as well when the car is in an idle state. The charging keeps the battery warm which gives the car more range and energy for your drive. A warm battery also ensures better regenerative braking.
2. Warm up the car
Pre-warm the car as and when possible, even if there is nobody in the car. Most present-day cars allow you to do this remotely from inside your home using an app. This saves you the bother of having to get into the car and activate the windshield scraping. As a bonus, the remote functionality also prevents you from feeling cold when you get into the car. Another noteworthy plus point of prewarming is that prewarming causes the car battery to assist in efficient car movement.
3. Do not Overspeed
While we do not mean to say that you must drive very slow during winter, it is definitely recommended that you do not opt to speed either. Although speeding can be exciting, keep in mind that this can cause your vehicle to drag and have an adverse impact on the mileage. Maintain an optimum speed to ensure efficient consumption of battery power.
4. Regenerative braking
Apply regenerative braking often when the weather is really cold. This braking keeps a check on the speed of your car and lowers the risks of sliding and skidding on icy or snowy roads. Regenerative braking has an added advantage in that the energy generated when the brake is applied helps to top up the battery. While this kind of braking is better than ABS braking on icy roads, it is worth noting that this braking works better when the battery is warm rather than cold.
5. Retain tire pressure
As a car owner, the importance of maintaining the recommended air pressure for the tires at any time of the year cannot be undermined. This applies to the winter season as well as the air pressure in the tires tends to dip by up to 10% with a fall in temperature. When the tires have the optimum pressure, the vehicle drag is lower and the energy consumption is also on the lower side.
6. Opt for Eco mode
Drive your electric car in Eco mode during the winter season. This mode offers several advantages like less torque transmission and less power on the drivetrain, which in turn stops the vehicle from getting stalled. Additionally, it prevents excessive acceleration of the vehicle, thereby lowering the chance of wheelspin. All these factors contribute towards less vehicle drag and hence less pressure on its powertrain. Another key highlight of the Eco mode is its ability to save energy by limiting the use of power-consuming features.
Most of the above-mentioned tips are not very difficult to follow. You can also adopt more than one tip at a time to alleviate the problems faced with your electric car in harsh winters. Moreover, the tips ensure that you have a hassle-free driving experience with your electric car. You may even look forward to an extra drive or two.