Study Shows EVs Lose Up to 41 % Range In Cold Weather

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Charging electric car in winter time

We kind of knew this already, but this recent study on the impact of outside temperatures on EV range is certainly eye-opening.

Performed by AAA, the study tested the impact of both high and low temperatures on electric vehicle range.

Five EVs – 2018 Nissan LEAF, 2018 BMW i3, 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, 2017 Tesla P75D and 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf – comprised the study which determined that use of the heater to warm up the cabin could result in a decrease in range of up to 41 %.

The loss in driving range was temporary and coincided with the use of the heater. In other words, turning of the heating system once temperatures came back to normal also stabilized the EV’s range number.

The study compared range at -6 degrees ℃ (25 degrees ℉) and 35 degrees ℃ (95 degrees ℉) with range obtained at 24 degrees ℃ (75 degrees ℉).

AAA added a few recommendations to their findings, namely to park the car in the garage when possible and heat the cabin when the electric vehicle is plugged in.

Tesla France reacted to the study, claiming that Tesla Model S owners did not historically see a drop in range at -6 degrees and only a 1 percent drop at 35 degrees.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt vs. 2018 Nissan LEAF vs. 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf

EV owners have long noticed a drop in range based on outside temperatures, but it’s clear that the impact has all to do with how the climate controls are set and how agressive owners are in trying to heat the cabin.

The cold has had other negative impacts on EVs, specifically the Tesla Model 3 that has encountered issues with its door handles in extremely cold weather.

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