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September 1, 2022

Can Weather Temperatures Affect EV Range?

As consumers transition to daily life with an EV, knowing what can affect an electric car’s range and performance is essential. For those living in more extreme climates, the weather can play a significant role in their EV ownership. Both extreme cold and extreme heat affect how much power your electric car will use, the efficiency of its charging, and overall performance. Knowing how the weather can impact an EV’s performance and range will help owners better prepare for daily commutes and road trips.

How Cold Temperatures Affect EV Range

Reduced EV Range

According to Consumer Reports, cold temperatures can reduce an unplugged EV’s range by about 20%. This loss is caused primarily by the added demand needed to heat and maintain the interior temperature of the car. This may seem pretty drastic but when comparing this to gas powered vehicles, which can see up to a 24% reduction in fuel efficiency when driving in the same conditions, it’s not too far off from the norm.

Extended Charging Times

Cold weather can also increase the time needed to charge your EV. In a study observing the charging times of EV taxis in New York, after 30 mins of charging on a DCFC (50kwh) in 32 degree temperatures, EV owners saw a drop of 36% in the amount charged as compared to charging in 77 degree temperatures. Under the coldest conditions, EVs charged up to 3 times slower than at warm temperatures (77 degrees).

How Hot Temperatures Affect EV Range

Reduced EV Range

Using the air conditioning doesn’t affect range as much as the heater does but can still play a significant factor. In 95 degree heat, an EV’s range can be reduced by up to 17%. When compared to gas powered vehicles, EV’s have the edge. Gas powered vehicles can see up to a 25% decrease in fuel efficiency due to running the AC and keeping the engine cool in the same conditions.

An EV’s performance and range tend to be affected greater by the cold than the hot but knowing these effects can help drivers set expectations and plan accordingly when traveling to or living within these conditions. Here are some tips to help EV owners driving in extreme temperatures.

Tips on Protecting Your EV Range from Extreme Weather

Prepare While Plugged In

Since the heating and cooling systems are the biggest draws on power during extreme temperatures, start the temperature control process before you leave. With your car plugged in, run the AC or heater until your car is comfortable. This will help save range on your commute.

Plan Your Route

While the above step will certainly help, it will be more critical to plan your trips during the seasons with extreme temperatures. Be conservative when estimating your range while you learn how your vehicle reacts to varying weather conditions. Be sure to leave with a good charge and map out charging stations on your route.

Find Good Parking

Give your vehicle some protection from the weather. Park in a garage or under cover whenever possible. A spot shaded by a tree or in a garage can offer some protection from the sun to keep cabin temperatures lower. In cold temperatures, parking inside an enclosed parking structure can help keep your EV warmer and shield it from cold winds and snow.

Chargie EV Charging Stations

Chargie is building the most consistent EV charging network by a mile. The places you park most of the time become places you can charge at any time. No matter the weather, our 99% network uptime means you’ll return to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 customer care gets you the support you need at every turn.

At Chargie, we specialize in finding the best programs to plug into to provide our clients with EV charging stations at little to no out-of-pocket costs. We handle everything from applying to the programs and submitting the required paperwork to installing the charging stations and providing ongoing maintenance and support. With Chargie, property owners get a truly turnkey partner, and drivers get simple, intuitive charging. Reach out to learn more.