Just like anything else you do to prepare for winter, there are things you need to know about driving an electric vehicle (EV) in the cold weather and snow. We’re sharing some top tips to help keep your EV charged and ready to go this winter season.
Preheating is key
Saving battery power is extra important in cold weather. And because it takes less energy to maintain a temperature than raise it, warming your vehicle before you take off is the best way to avoid winter range loss. Be sure to preheat your all-electric vehicle while it’s still plugged in. It will use power from the grid rather than your battery. That way, you can save the battery’s energy for driving.
Use your seat and steering wheel heaters
Most modern EVs have more efficient heat pumps, so your climate control should use no more energy than running your air conditioner in the summer. Nonetheless, consider using your seat and steering wheel heaters to get toasty, rather than turning up the heater to the highest setting. They use significantly less energy than the vehicle’s climate control and warm you faster, anyway.
Watch your speed
It’s always a good idea to slow down when road conditions are snowy and icy – safety first, obviously! But now you have another good reason: range. Slowing down just a few miles per hour will help save battery energy so you’re getting as much range as possible during your drive.
Stay charged up
Make sure you’re plugging in as much as possible and try to keep your battery at least 20% charged at all times. With EV charging stations popping up all over Michigan, it’s easier to plan road trips – even during winter. Use the PlugShare app to find the latest EV charging station locations.
Consider winter tires
Since EVs tend to be slightly heavier due to the weight of the battery, EV snow performance is quite good, especially with the right tires. Opting for winter tires instead of all-season tires provide you with maximum grip for snowy conditions, so you can worry less about spinning out or getting stuck. Don’t forget to check and top off tire pressure regularly – cold temps cause tires to lose air pressure.
De-icing spray helps
Keep a can of de-icing spray (and obviously a snow brush/ice scraper combo) in the car.?Because EVs don’t give off residual heat from the engine block and radiator, de-icing spray can help free up an icy charging port as well as your locks and door handles.
Don’t be afraid to hit the road this winter. Just be prepared for winter driving like you would with a regular gasoline vehicle. For more info on winter EV driving, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9pEvx1tpKc.