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EVs and Charging in Cold Weather


EVs, just like traditional gas-powered vehicles, can be affected by both hot and cold weather in a number of ways. From charge time to operating range and even vehicle handling can be influenced by the weather, and EV drivers want to know how their vehicles will hold up when facing colder temperatures.


Dropping temperatures can be detrimental for drivers and their vehicles, but with the right preparation there is absolutely no reason to turn your nose up at EVs. In colder temperatures, cabin climate control can add to battery draw which influences an EVs range. However, colder weather can also impact battery chemistry, decreasing efficiency and increasing charging times.


This means just like traditional gas-powered vehicles, EVs can experience a decrease in efficiency in colder weather due to changes in fluid viscosity. In these frigid temperatures, electrolyte fluid that's found in lithium-ion EV batteries tends to move more slowly, thus decreasing power output as well as the ability to charge swiftly. However, the good news is, similar to traditional gas-powered vehicles, once the battery has warmed up its efficiency increased in both of these regards. Its helpful to keep in mind that charging your vehicle once the battery has warmed up can benefit you and your EV.


The good news for EV drivers is that battery-management systems (BMSs) are constantly being improved to ensure that EVs are able to meet and exceed consumer expectations. And while some may discount EVs because they do not emit residual heat from combustion like a traditional gas-powered vehicle to help warm the cabin, these traditional vehicles lost so much energy during the combustion process that EVs will always be the more efficient option, regardless of weather conditions.


As EV BMSs continue to develop and become more complex, they have also continued to address concerns corresponding to colder weather. For instance, an EV BMS can limit regenerative braking to help maintain temperatures. Furthermore, it can limit fast charging to help protect battery life span in colder temperatures. Some EVs may also display a slightly lower range than the actual battery capacity to ensure some battery reserve remains. And researchers are always pushing further, suggesting and developing new improvements to maximize cold weather range.


EVs also experience the same potential hazards on winter roads that traditional gas-powered vehicles are faced with. However, EVS are offered in rear-wheel, front-wheel, and all-wheel drive ensuring that consumers are able to suit whatever their needs may be. Furthermore, EVs are usually heavier than traditional gas-powered vehicles, and this low center of gravity gives EVs an advantage on snowy winter roads.


With all the improvements made to EVs, cold weather performance is a cause for concern no longer. EVs remain an efficient and reliable vehicle all year long, and you can rest assured you're able to find the right EV that will fit your winter driving needs.

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