EV range loss in the winter

All electric vehicles have some degree of range loss in cold weather. During these months, EV users in countries with colder winters must alter their regular driving and charging routines. This temporary range reduction won't have a long-term negative impact on the battery. When the ice melts and the temperature rises, the predicted range on a full charge should return to normal. There are several causes for winter range decrease. The two primary contributing variables are chemical and mechanical.

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Colder temperatures cause the battery’s chemical and physical processes to proceed more slowly. This lowers the power of the EVs. Cold weather prevents chemical reactions from occurring and slows down physical processes by acting as resistance.

Heat must be produced internally by electric vehicles. Traditional automobiles’ internal combustion engines (ICE) are surprisingly inefficient. ICE automobiles convert all of the energy they don’t need to go ahead into “waste heat,” which is usually just wasted energy. However, in cold weather, ICE automobiles use this engine waste heat to warm the inside. An EV, on the other hand, has a motor that is far more efficient and produces less heat. When it’s cold outside, the battery itself receives the available motor heat, necessitating a power source for cabin heating. Typically, cabin heaters drain the high voltage battery, leaving less battery capacity for driving.

AAA is one of several groups that has investigated these impacts, although the studies are frequently conducted in lab settings or with a small number of automobiles. There is a significantly larger data set in this study by recurrent. Thousands of automobiles are being examined and their performance in actual driving situations is being recorded, as opposed to a small number of cars.

This graph examines the range loss of 14 well-known EV models under various driving scenarios. It is based on tens of thousands of data points from onboard devices that provide information on energy use, as well as aggregated and anonymised data from 7,000 Recurrent community members’ automobiles from across the US.

Verified winter range numbers take into account all relevant real-world factors, including uneven terrain, varying driving styles, and battery ageing caused by the passage of time. In a variety of actual usage situations, they demonstrate the typical expectation for winter driving conditions.

Source: Recurrent

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EV range loss in the winter overview
EV range loss in the winter | Source: Recurrent


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