Protect your EV battery in cold weather

17th January 2023
You may have climbed into your Electric Vehicle (EV) this morning and wondered why the mileage is less than you thought, or the battery seems to be working less efficiently. There is good reason for this and there are some simple things that you can do to help the health of your battery in the winter and also the summer.

EVs are powered by lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, and as such their performance can be hindered by extreme cold and extreme hot weather. You may think that the UK does not experience extreme weather but in 2021 temperatures fell below -20°C at three weather stations in Scotland with the UK’s lowest temperature since December 1995, and in July 2020 the temperature reached 37.8 °C at Heathrow making this the UK’s third hottest day on record.

On average, EV drivers can expect a 20-30% lower mileage range than usual during winter because of increased energy consumption and lower battery performance.

During the winter months drivers will use the internal heating system far more, and this uses up power from the EV battery.

Li-ion batteries are less efficient in extreme hot or cold weather because their power comes from electrolyte fluid that functions best in moderate temperatures. In extreme cold, the electrons in that fluid move more slowly than in warmer temperatures.

Newer EVs have more sophisticated thermal management systems designed to keep the batteries within their optimal temperature range which keep the electrons moving at the right rate, however they also rely on battery power.

Your EV charger will be weather resistant and able to withstand extreme weather conditions, but very cold weather can also affect the actual charging of your vehicle, with the amount of fast charging limited to protect batteries.

Here are 6 simple things that you can do to help maintain your EV battery health:

1. Keep the battery at least 20% in case your EV needs to use power to warm the battery for recharging.
2. During bad weather, make sure your battery is fully charged every day.
3. If you like to heat the interior of your car before you drive in really cold weather, use mains power from your EV charger instead of battery power.
4. Drive-in Eco or Eco Plus mode if available, which will use less power.
5. Some EVs capture waste heat from braking or other processes, using that to heat the car. Use this feature rather than running the heating, as heating and cooling can cause a greater reduction in range than the weather conditions.
6. Use regenerative braking where possible (if you have it) to help keep the battery topped up.

If you want to know more about anything to do with EV charge point installation for your place of work, commercial building, fleet vehicles, farm, holiday let or home please contact us and we will be pleased to help.

Be part of the future today.

Adrian Cooper
Business Partnering
EVC Solutions Ltd

At EVC we do business that won’t cost the earth.

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