Winter Driving Tips for Electric Vehicle Drivers To Manage Effect Of Cold Temperatures On Range
Published on November 14, 2023
Geotab shares expert insights on maximizing EV performance in Ireland's winter. Learn from 3 million EV trips and 550,000 hours of driving data analysis.
14th November 2023,Geotab Inc. (“Geotab”), a global leader in connected transportation solutions, today shared winter tips for electric vehicle owners in Ireland in order to maximise their car’s performance in cold weather. The tips from Geotab’s Ireland & UK Vice President David Savage are based on electric vehicle (EV) range analysis to examine the impact of speed and temperature uses based on de-identified, aggregated data from 3 million EV trips and 550,000 hours of driving time to better understand the relative range impact of temperature and speed.
- Take advantage of the amenities that come with your car – heat the human, not the air
- Preconditioning your car for extremely cold days
- Drive conservatively
- Use Eco mode
- Regularly check your tire pressure
Take advantage of the amenities that come with your car
Day-to-day range of an electric vehicle is affected by temperature primarily due to auxiliary heating and cooling. Not only does energy from the battery power the vehicle, it also powers auxiliary systems, most notably regulating the temperature of the vehicle cabin and battery. Instead of heating the cabin, EV owners should instead consider using their heated seats and steering wheel to keep warm.
Heating the cabin air can draw 3000-5000 watts, and is much less efficient than heating your seat and steering wheel (around 75 watts) which transfers heat to your body via conduction. Using these increasingly common features can keep drivers comfortable without resorting to the cabin heater.
Precondition your car for extremely cold days
Rather than switching on the heating when getting into an electric vehicle on a cold day and having to wait for the car’s windows to be free of mist, drivers should consider heating their car, while plugged in, prior to getting into the vehicle. If the EV is plugged in while heating, the vehicle’s range will not be impacted and also avoids a drain on the range due to excessive use of the battery if heating while driving.
No matter the weather, one factor that always affects an EV’s range is how it is driven. Excessive acceleration and braking, and driving at high speeds all cost energy. By anticipating the need to brake, and avoiding harsh braking, will enable an EV’s regenerative braking system to work, recovering energy and storing it back into the battery. By anticipating when you need to reduce speed, drivers can reduce the need to stop fully meaning that you keep momentum and will use less battery to maintain at an appropriate speed.
Use the eco mode
Every EV has a slightly different function to their eco mode, but generally they all work to reduce power consumption and increase mileage by reducing the energy supply to the drive motor and high energy consumption features such as cabin heaters. In winter, eco modes can actually make your car safer to drive. By reducing the power to the motor, the car accelerates slower, which reduces the possibility of wheel spin in icy conditions.
Check your tyre pressure
Tyre pressure drops as the ambient temperature falls, leading to greater rolling resistance and reduced mileage range. Best practice dictates to check your vehicle’s tire pressure every month, but particularly as the outside temperatures change considerably with the seasons.
In summary, taking the time to prepare for cold conditions through regular monitoring, preconditioning your vehicle and being efficient as possible while driving will help to ensure that your EV is ready for the cold days ahead.
Geotab is a global leader in connected transportation solutions. We provide telematics — vehicle and asset tracking — solutions to over 50,000 customers in 160 countries. For more than 20 years, we have invested in ground-breaking data research and innovation to enable partners and customers, including Fortune 500 and public sector organizations, to transform their fleets and operations. With over 4 million subscriptions and processing more than 75 billion data points a day, we help customers make better decisions, increase productivity, have safer fleets, and achieve their sustainability goals. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offers hundreds of third-party solution options. Backed by a team of industry leading data scientists and AI experts, Geotab is unlocking the power of data to understand real-time and predictive analytics — solving for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s world. To learn more, visit www.geotab.com, follow @GEOTAB on X and LinkedIn or visit the Geotab Blog.
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