Weather conditions can have an impact on an EV's charge levels and duration.
EV technology is still evolving, as rising sales and customer demand boost the sector to new heights. Despite a survey from Research and Markets predicting that the global EV battery market will reach $25.43 billion by 2023, some critics point to the influence of cold weather on charge time as a reason to avoid choosing the electric option.
Let's look at how cold weather affect the charge time of today's leading EVs.
The theory behind how cold weather affects EV range
The temperature of the driver's immediate surroundings has an impact on the performance of EVs, affecting everything from operating range to handling ability.
According to a recent Consumer Reports article, a series of EV tests conducted by The Automobile Federation proved that the cold can limit an unplugged EV's range by around 20%. Temperatures below 20°F appear to have the greatest effect on battery discharge.
EVs, like gas-powered vehicles, suffer from decreasing efficiency due to changes in fluid viscosity. Colder temperatures cause the electrolyte fluid in lithium-ion EV batteries to move more slowly, reducing power output and charging speeds. As the battery warms up, both viscosity and efficiency improve.
The most significant cause of additional battery drain is cabin temperature. Attempts to adjust temperature inside the car divert significant battery resources away from the EV's essential operational responsibilities, contributing to battery loss in combination with the weather outside the cabin.
How significant is the impact?
Not much, depending on the environment in which a motorist finds themself.
The “20% effect” was determined on a Tesla Model 3 with a claimed range of 272 miles by Motorbiscuit. A simple mathematical calculation (272 x.2) yields 217.6 miles of guilt-free, climate-controlled range.
It's also worth remembering that extreme temperatures have an impact on battery life, with cabin-cooling settings contributing to extra consumption during the summer and in hotter climates.
When it comes to maximising an EV's range, the temperature of the charging place is the most critical issue to consider. While charging an already-warmed battery shortens the charge duration, a regulated climate (hot or cold) within the plug-in environment is a predictor of battery regeneration efficiency.
Tips for Extending EV Range
Before charging or driving an EV, warm the battery. Charging at home in a warm garage boosts range capacity.
Slower driving will help an EV's battery last longer. Unlike gasoline-powered automobiles, electric vehicles use minimal energy to idle and perform better in cities than on highways.
Before disconnecting an EV, heat the interior cabin to the desired temperature.
When driving in cold settings, all-wheel drive EVs outfitted with snow tyres improve performance and associated efficiency.
These tips, together with taking into account daily driving habits and how they translate to range capacity, should help ensure that cold weather does not deter people from purchasing an EV.