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Get further this winter – 7 things to do now

More range in winter despite snow and ice

During the cold months of the year, driving electric has some particular advantages. One, unlike gas or diesel-powered cars, EV’s start up immediately. Second, the heating works immediately and is more environmentally friendly than those using fossil fuels. However, the range of electric cars is less in winter: seven tips to keep you on the road despite minus temperatures.

Sleeping and waking up your car

  • While your car is not in use over night, keep it parked in a covered garage. The less the battery cools, the higher the capacity. Thus, you will automatically have more range.
  • Drive immediately after your charge is completed. The more time you wait until using your car after charing, the more the battery will cool down. Avoid leaving the car standing in the cold unplugged to increase range.

Prepare for the cold drive

  • De-ice and pre-heat 15-20 minutes before leaving – while plugged in. In most electric cars, you can program the time you want the car to be at a certain temperature. Using this features makes sure that the energy needed to heat up the car’s interior comes from the grid. Your car remains fully charged and doesn’t use up the energy in the battery for heating or de-icing.
  • Plan for longer charging times. At ideal charging temperature (20-25°C) the battery receives the maximum energy rate. Since temperatures in winter are way lower, charging will take longer. Try not to go under 15-20% battery and plan your stops to take a bit longer.
  • Use the right tyre pressure. Winter tyres have a higher energy consumption, due to the compound making them more elastic and flexible at lower temperatures for better gip. Check at the frame of the drivers door for correct preassure and adjust accordingly.

While driving in winter

  • Heat the people inside the car and not the car. Running the heater on high when it’s cold can drain your electric vehicle’s battery and reduce range. Try to limit the heating to the passengers or use it less. Turning on the seat heating or steering wheel heating will provide comfort to passengers and safe energy compared to heating the entire vehicle.
  • Use the “eco-mode” and drive smoothly. Most e-cars have an “eco-mode”, where you can increase range by reducing power consumption and limiting the energy supplied to the drive motor and the cabin heater. On ice and snow it is also safer to drive smoother and consistantly. Drive less fast and use routes that consume less energy (country roads vs. highways).
  • Bonus: drive with foresight and use regenerative braking as much as you can!

Take your time and drive safely.

Inspired by ChargeMap and Electrek

Read more about How to maximize battery life and How your driving habits influence the life of the battery.

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