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Published date: January 3, 2024

2024 Winter Driving Tips for EV Owners

2024 Winter Driving Tips for EV Owners

Whether it’s your first winter season driving an electric vehicle or not, discover the best ways to navigate and enjoy driving in colder weather. Here are some practical tips and insights gathered from EV drivers to help you stay safe and be efficient on the road this winter.

Table of contents

1. Benefits from EVs in wintertime:

Electric vehicles have some distinct advantages in the winter. They generally handle better due to their low-down weight distribution, making it safer to drive on icier roads. Most EVs also offer the convenience of pre-heating, allowing you to warm up the car before you get in and drive off. With an EV, you can also experience more consistent performance during winter time, due to its reliable electric motor versus an internal combustion engine. Remember, with an EV, you can also start each day with a "full tank". No more gas station visits.

2. Range considerations:

Be aware of the potential for EV range reduction in cold weather. If you drive a lot, opt for an EV with a larger range to compensate for this. Loss of range in colder temperatures is a normal occurrence due to the energy required to heat the battery and the cabin.

3. Charging challenges:

Charging can be slower in colder weather conditions. This is especially true for those using 15A/110V "trickle" charging or Level 1 charging. If you live in a colder climate and park your EV outside, consider upgrading to a level 2 charger instead of relying on a regular wall outlet. This upgrade could facilitate faster charging and battery preconditioning, as well as counteract efficiency losses from heating the battery.

4. Useful winter accessory:

A windshield cover can be a lifesaver, preventing snow accumulation and saving you time in cleaning your EV. It's a simple solution that can make your winter mornings a bit easier.

5. Practical parking tips:

We checked out Reddit to see what EV owners are saying about driving in the winter. Here are some valuable pointers from one EV owner’s experience:

  • Avoid leaving your car plugged in before a storm to prevent snow and ice accumulation on the charge port.
  • Protect your external charger with a cover to prevent icing.
  • Pre-heat your car for better regenerative braking performance, as it's reduced when the battery is cold.
  • Keep your mirrors extended to prevent them from freezing in the folded position.
  • Schedule departure times and pre-heat your car for comfort and efficiency.
  • Plugging in your car at home can utilize line power for heating, saving battery life.
  • Utilize seat heating to reduce the need for high cabin heating, conserving power.
  • Be mindful that driving in snow and using the heater can reduce range.

6. Parking perks:

If you have access to an indoor or underground parking space, this is a fantastic option. It keeps your EV at a moderate temperature, reducing the need for additional heating when you start your trip.

7. Battery maintenance:

For those in extremely cold regions, like Michigan, it's crucial to maintain good battery health. In severe cold, EVs may run battery conditioning to keep the battery above a critical minimum temperature. This process consumes power akin to a space heater, but it's essential to prevent battery damage.

In summary, winter driving in an EV requires a bit of preparation and adaptation. By understanding your vehicle's specific needs and taking advantage of its features, you can enjoy a comfortable, efficient, and safe driving experience even in the coldest months.

Looking for a more convenient way to charge your EV from home? Lectrium makes installing a Level 2 charger easy. Just fill out a short survey with information about your house and what kind of charger you are looking for. You don't have to wait for someone to come and check your place. Our EV experts source quotes from reliable local installers, to find you the best price. We then help you schedule and set-up your installation within 1 to 2 weeks.

Check out our charger shop for different Level 2 EV charger options.

Stay warm and drive safely! ❄️⚡️

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