With temperatures starting to drop in the UK this winter, thousands of new electric vehicle drivers may be thinking themselves to be underprepared. Worse yet, many may not have even considered how the cold could affect their electrical vehicle and may accidentally cause themselves issues further down the line.
Now that the government has the OLEV grant available making it easier to gain access to low emission vehicles, there has recently been a rise in electric cars across the UK.
In many ways, driving an EV vehicle in winter is like any other car when it comes to functions like braking and accelerating. There are however, a couple of weather-dependent differences you should be aware of when driving your electric car! We here at Mr Charger have put together our top tips so you don’t get caught out this winter.
Rapid charging time may change
Due to the cold weather it’s not uncommon for the rapid charging time to be a little slower as a cold battery cannot be charged as quickly as a warm one. Because of this, we would advise that you give yourself a little extra time when it comes to charging! Keep your vehicle plugged in overnight to ensure it has had enough charge for the rest of the day.
Ensure your battery is warmed up
Batteries need to be warm in order to be able to perform optimally. This means that you may need to give your battery time to warm up, or ideally pre-warm the battery via a chargepoint. If you have a home charger installed this will certainly be the way forward. Many EVs come fitted with a pretimed heating system which can be programmed to come on while the battery is still charging before you head out on your trip. This will help to warm the battery as well as make the cab nice and warm for you as the driver! This preconditioning can actually help increase the range of your car by 10 to 15%.
Beware of the range
When it comes to the range of distance that your car can travel, you should be aware that this is reduced during colder weather if you are using a cold start. Your range could be reduced by up to 20-30% so make sure you’re keeping an eye on your distance.
Check your tire pressure before you set off
As the temperature drops, so too can your tire pressure. This can unfortunately lead to a greater rolling distance which can reduce mileage range. It’s good practice to regularly check your tire pressure on a monthly basis and increase this during the change in seasons.
Use the Eco mode on your EV car
Lots of electric cars have slightly different functioning eco modes, but they generally work to reduce the power consumption and increase mileage for the car by reducing the energy supply to the drive motor and other features like the cabin heater. By utilising this mode it can help to increase the safety of your vehicle during winter. By having less power in the acceleration, it reduces the possibility of wheel spin on snowy or icy roads.