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  • Oct 18, 2021

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Smart Tips to maximize your EV’s Range in winters

With winter getting unbearable in most parts of the country, now is the time to adopt necessary measures to winter-proof your electric vehicle. No matter if you are a first-time EV owner, or have been driving one for years, there is always new things to learn about how to take care of your vehicle, especially during this time of a year. Although drivers in the colder regions need more preparations for the winters, drivers in warmer climates should also take note of these precautionary tips just to be on the safe side, as you never know when these might just come handy.

Impact of the Cold Weather

But before getting into the tips for maintaining EVs during winter, let us first understand how cold weather can impact your vehicle, and why is it important to get your EV winterized.

A drop in the temperature below 40 degrees may lead an EV’s battery to produce less current. If not charged sufficiently in the cold weather, it can be completely drained in a matter of a few hours. Furthermore, if it drops below 20%, it can significantly impact the EV’s range. If you drive or use the car’s heating system below this temperature, the vehicle’s average driving range will be immensely decreased. This is why, it is extremely necessary for drivers in colder regions to take safety measures during winters.

Consider these 6 tips for winterizing your EV:

Charge Smart

Think ahead on your plans involving your car. If you need to use your car early in the morning to leave for work and the temperature is predicted to be below 40 degrees overnight, put it on overnight charging, so that it is fully charged by the time you need to use it.

Precondition for Maximum Efficiency

If your car is plugged in for overnight charging, turn on the heat around 30 minutes before you finally set out for work in the morning. This helps the battery warm up and retains charge, as well as help increase the car’s driving range. However, the preconditioning needs to be done while the car is still charging in order to ensure no additional energy consumption by the battery in the process.

Most EVs come equipped with an app that can be used to precondition on command or pre-set schedule.

Heat the Passenger seats, not the car

Unlike traditional vehicles, EVs do not have gas-fueled engine, hence there is no additional waste heat to provide warmth in the car’s cabin. However, that does not mean you should blast the heat when you feel cold, as it can drain your vehicle’s battery, as well as bring its range down. It is better to restrict the heating to just the driver, either by turning air vents on or off, or controlling the heating settings of seat or steering wheel. This helps in ensuring battery efficiency and less power consumption than heating the whole car.

Park your EV in a Garage

If you are an EV owner, prioritize parking your car in a garage, especially during the winters. The warmth of an enclosed space goes a long way in ensuring the battery is charged longer, as well as getting charged faster, in contrast to a battery left in the cold weather for too long. It impacts the battery performance. Also, whenever you take your car out for shopping and other business, try to go for indoor parking facilities where you have the option, instead of parking it out in the open.

Keep the Tires in Check

Common to all vehicles that use inflated tires, but EVs need to be given extra attention as low tire pressure impacts them the most. With the drop in temperature, the air in your car’s tires contracts and the pressure falls, as well. Keep your tires’ pressure in check on a regular basis in order to maximize winter range. Everybody likes to drive a car with as little resistance as possible. Also, for EV owners in regions that experience heavy snowfalls, winter tires are highly recommended.

Employ Eco Mode

Most EVs come equipped with an “eco-mode”, which is used for boosting mileage and reduce power consumption by cutting down energy supplied to the drive motor and cabin heaters. In cold weathers, this mode helps in maximizing the battery efficiency.

Also, using the eco-mode may lead to slow acceleration, as power is reduced to the motor. However, this limits the chances of wheel spins on ice or snow covered streets, and makes driving safer.

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