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New legislation and federal as well as state-level incentives are helping EVs catch up in numbers to fossil-fuel driven vehicles. However negative reports around electric cars in cold weather have prompted many potential converts to ask,

“Does weather affect electric cars?” 

With winter fast approaching for US drivers, this article brushes off the snow on this and other questions, regarding the performance of an electric car in cold weather. We also look at tips to extend the life of your EV’s batteries and take a peak at what is the best electric car for the weather in your state.

Does Cold Weather Affect Electric Cars?

The U.S.A. can be a country of extreme. EV owners who live in the colder states all face the same challenge: How good is my electric car battery life in cold weather? Conversely, electric car owners in hot states like Florida worry about how does hot weather affect EV range… read on as we take a closer look at how electric vehicle batteries react to temperature fluctuations.

What is one the first things you look at when you are checking out a new car—whether it’s an EV or a more conventional sedan?

Still not sure exactly what you are looking for, the Nationwide Guide to Choosing Your Car Type was written for you. The next thing most people look for in today’s car is fuel efficiency, but what does that mean in a mixed propulsion American automobile landscape?

weather ev

Fuel Consumption vs Fuel Economy

Ok, I suggest that we start with the exact meaning of ‘fuel efficiency’ – which for EVs means that fuel can be measured in watt-hour or Wh. To get deep into How Do All-Electric Cars Work?, and to get a better understanding of Batteries for Electric Vehicles, the U.S. Department of Energy is an invaluable source of information. A visit to their website may also help answer your question, “Are electric cars good in snow?”.

To learn how much it will cost you to ship your EV, RV, ATV, or Humvee from where you are… to where you need it to be… Simply chat to Nationwide Auto Transportation.

It is common knowledge that a vehicle’s published range (obtained under perfect wind tunnel conditions) differs from real life measurements because of a host of attributing factors like:

  • The outdoor temperature
  • Driving style
  • Cargo load
  • Amount of passengers
  • The topography or terrain (includes road types)
  • Speed that car is driven at

Like gasoline vehicles, the efficiency and hence the range of EVs are impacted by the above factors. But what’s the difference between:

  • Fuel economy – The distance your vehicle can travel on a specified amount of fuel
    • Miles per gallon)
    • EVs this is miles/Wh
  • Fuel consumption – Think gallons per mile or in electric vehicle terms, Wh/mile

When you compare these two concepts it is clear that they mirror each other. Fuel economy sees distance as the deciding principle. Fuel consumption highlights how much fuel will be used to go a given distance. 

NATIONWIDE AUTO TRANSPORTATION TIP:To calculate your EV range, you multiply the (fuel economy) x {the size or the battery (kilowatt-hours or kWh)}.

Range equals how much energy an EV battery pack can keep, but there are other things that can impact this, such as the car’s design type. Designs differ in shape, size, weight and a host of other features and this in turn influences a vehicle’s efficiency. To get more information on this, why not visit these car types pages?

electric car battery life in cold weather

Example: A huge electric truck needs a substantially larger battery than a 65kWh sedan. Yet fuel economy will be affected by external conditions. This is very much on par with all cars. Ask anyone with a standard fossil-fuel vehicle and they will have a very similar experience with their fuel consumption and outside influences.

Keep reading as we look at what the best electric car for cold weather is. If you want to know why heat and cold affects an electric car battery, the next section answers that.

EV Batteries and Extreme Weather

Even in today’s enlightened world, speculation from naysayers about the performance of an electric car in cold weather is still questioned. But is it valid, and if so, why do EVs lose range in cold weather?

Let’s delve deeper into electric car battery life in cold weather, compared to the effects of extreme heat. We’ll leave you with some tips for owning an EV when you stay in a cold state.

Nationwide Auto Transportation Car Shipping Tip:

Car shipping is cheaper in the winter, and right now is also the best time of year to get a good deal when you are buying a car, EV or conventional.

Read this post on buying a car from another state, and keep in mind that Nationwide Auto Transportation has a network of professional drivers who know how important your car is to you. Call today for car shipping assistance or a free quote.

So, does cold weather affect EV batteries, and how cold is too cold for your car battery? 

The first part is easy to answer, yes it does. A conventional car battery loses 35% of power when temperatures reach below 32°F, and up to 60% at 0°F. Figures published by the American Automobile Association say that aat a mercury reading below 20°F  electric car cold weather range reduces by up to 41%, if the HVAC is also in use.

What does that mean in real life terms? If you are able to drive 100 miles doing a combination of urban and highway travel at temperatures above 20°F, you will only be able to travel 59 miles at lower temperatures! 

electric car cold weather

Key takeaways:

  • Most makes and models of electric vehicles follow a similar temperature curve
  • 70°F is the recommended temperature for an EV battery to be most effective
  • Cold and hot climates both impact EV battery life. Although extreme heat has worse effects, there are not many places that reach such high temperatures.

Before all this cold kerbs your enthusiasm though, here are some hot hints for EV owners this winter. 

EV Cold Weather Performance | Hot Hints for Winter

How do electric cars provide heat in winter? This is the first question many EV buyers ask, especially when they live in the less temperate states in America. As winter starts sticking out its freezing tentacles, car owners in the colder states are starting to take pre-snow precautions. New owners are worrying about their EV performance in cold weather .

Reading this article on how to winterize your car is a great start. Whether this is your first cold spell as an EV owner, or you are a seasoned winter veteran at EV charging in cold weather, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Parking in your garage saves heat and energy and reduces time when EV charging in cold weather
  • If you have to use the HVAC, limit the temps and usage
  • An extended range battery or heat pump should be considered
  • The correct tire pressure and smooth driving habits can add miles to your trip
  • Know where you are going and where there are charging stations—planning your route helps and there are also great Apps.
  • Always assume that there is less charge in your battery than there is

Did you know that your mobile phone’s battery tech works in a similar way? That is why charging your phone or an electric car in cold weather takes considerably longer.

What doesn’t take long is to get a car shipping quote from Nationwide Auto Transportation. Simply click here for an instant quote! Now, let’s have a quick glance at what happens to your EV in hot weather.

Hot Weather Care for Your EV

Although winter is fast approaching certain parts of the US, there are still a few states where heat and sun is the order of the day. Extreme heat could cause EV owners a few problems. Read this section and you will be much better prepared.

A study that involved more than 6,000 EVs proved that electric vehicle batteries lose power faster in high temperatures. Do you know what impact your aircon has on your range? A trip of 100 miles could see you fall about 17 miles short if you use the aircon on a super hot day on the highway.

best cars for cold climate

Check Your EVs Tyre Pressure

The most damage to tires are reported in the month of July, according to the U.S. Department of Transport, and this could be a concern for EV owners (EVs are usually heavier than conventional cars). Learn how to avoid a blowout, and always make sure that your EV has the right tire pressure.

5 Cool Electric Vehicle Tips For Hot Days

If you are the person who worries about most things, I am here for a little peace of mind. Considering this, here are 5 tips to keep your electric car cool, and to protect your EV battery when it gets very hot.

  1. Always try to find shade for parking, or purchase an appropriate sunshade. Extreme heat can affect Lithium-Ion batteries (You have seen what happens when you leave your phone battery in the hot sun for too long).
  1. Pre-condition: Use pre-cooling features to let your cabin cool while your EV is charging.
  1. 80% Charge only: It is never a good idea to charge any Lithium-Ion battery to 100% as this produces heat that can damage the cells.
  1. What is Eco-mode? It might limit a few functions, but the miles added are so worth it!
  1.  High noon: If possible, plan your trips during the cooler times of the day.
Nationwide Auto Transport Tip: Snowbird shipping increases during the change of season as they travel between states to various snowbird destinations to follow the sun. Now is a great time for reduced car shipping costs!

Why not follow us on social media to stay ahead of the curve when new deals are launched…

Are you ready to see what are the best cars for cold climates, and which EV is best in cold weather?

Best Electric Car for Cold Climates

In this section we take a peek at the connection between EV cars and cold weather, as well as 5 electric cars that do well in cold weather. Extreme temperatures and automobiles have always been a headache for car owners, and whether you drive an electric car, or a gas guzzler, neither of them perform at their best in very low or very high temperatures.

The internal combustion engine has been around since 1886, and we have grown accustomed to their limitations in extreme conditions, but are EVs good in cold weather? 

How EVs Work in Extreme Cold

If you have ever tried starting an internal combustion engined vehicle on a very cold morning, you are familiar with how frustrating it can be. But guess what? EVs warm up a whole lot quicker than conventional vehicles, and they pre-heat without idling the engine! Your EV heat pump is in reality a reverse AC, which means your electric car can be warmed up before you even drive out of the garage or office building.

best cars for cold climate

Do EV batteries degrade in cold weather?

Let’s take a look at the question, how does cold weather affect EV range? As discussed earlier in this article, Lithium-ion batteries, like the ones in your phone and EV, will take longer to charge in very cold temperatures. At the same time the regenerative braking qualities get adversely affected, and combined with very cold temps, this can reduce EV range in cold weather up to 41%.

What are EV manufacturers doing to curb EV car battery degradation in cold weather?

The electric vehicle of today now has active thermal management systems that are designed to keep the battery cells at an optimal operating temperature. When you add all-wheel drive and extended range, you will find that your electric car is more efficient in cold weather than most gas-powered cars.

Because some EVs (specifically all-wheel drive) have individually driven wheels or axles, revolutionary traction control gives you much more control on snowy or slippery roads. Additionally the heavy battery pack gives EVs a low center of gravity, which increases stability and traction. Add in a set of high quality winter tyres and you will have a much safer and smoother commute.

Bad driving behavior will reduce electric car performance in cold weather and it can increase the risk of an accident. Our post, Bad Driving Habits That Can Harm You and Your Car, has tips and advice that will not only increase your car’s life, but keep you safe at the same time. Are you ready to dive in and find which electric car handles well in bad weather?

Which Electric Car is Best in Cold Weather?

How does cold weather affect ev range? It is safe to say that we have thoroughly debunked the myth that electric car battery life in cold weather restricts an EV owner’s mobility. In fact EVs perform better than gas cars in winter. That said, here is a list of 5 electric cars that are vying for a spot on the best EV in cold weather list.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

With a very competitive starting price, the new F-150 comes standard with all-wheel drive that uses a dual-motor system. Originally designed for commercial use, this Ford EV includes an assortment of features, and with an extended range battery can do 320 miles on a charge.

Cost: $72, 500

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

The ID.4 blends comfortably with the SUV of today, apart from being electrically powered. It may not turn as many heads as some other EVs in this class. But it is really a good option when you are looking  for an electric car in cold weather states. The 201 Hp ID.4 features a roomy cabin filled with tech and safety features.

This modern EV is a comfortable every day drive that gets around 251 miles on a charge. That could be less due to the electric car range reduction in cold weather, the VW’s range is around 251 miles.

Cost: $40,760

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

This Mustang makes for a mean winter warrior that seats five people with comfort. The Mach-E delivers exceptionally agile handling and eager acceleration for a four-door crossover. It also has a super stylish interior and is available in a host of AWD configurations.

The California Route 1 with AWD and Extended Battery range gets 247 miles from the 266 horsepower. That could nearly halve the electric car battery life in cold weather. But it has a max range of 312 miles.

  • Cost: $52,756

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

The top of the range Ioniq 5 has an all-wheel drive that is powered by a 320 Hp drivetrain. The setup features an extended battery pack and a range of 269 miles in good weather. The modern interior has space for five adults, and loads of cargo space.

Hyundai has certainly delivered great acceleration with more than generous battery range.

Cost: $48,745

2022 Tesla Model 3

Do Tesla’s work in cold weather? Just like any other EV, cold weather can reduce a Tesla’s range. This being said, this is the quintessential EV when we speak about electric vehicles. As the first mainstream EV it still has more range than many other electric cars on the market today. 267 Miles is the range of the base Model 3. Right now, however, the Model 3 Performance is the only Tesla that is available in AWD. The Tesla Model 3 offers 315 miles range, still one of the best electric car cold weather ranges.

Excellent crash test ratings and sporty handling is all controlled with a feature-filled touch screen, and no Apple CarPlay. 

There are obviously hundreds of other makes and models of hybrid car or electric car for cold weather on the market. Choosing the right EV for you might take some time. If you stay in one of the colder states, then any of the above EVs will be a good choice.

Shipping Your EV in Cold Weather

I hope this post has helped to quell the fears of electric car problems in cold weather. It’s clear that EVs actually perform better than internal combustion engines under extreme temperatures. Whether you need to ship an electric vehicle, or a conventional car, Nationwide Auto Transportation can deliver to your door.

Before you go, why not read this post on the Best States for EVs? and then ask one of our friendly consultants to call you back regarding your car shipping needs.