As electric vehicles revolutionize the transportation landscape, it is essential to prioritize the adoption and application of optimal practices for charging electric vehicles to unlock a future that is sustainable and convenient for all.
When companies explore the advantages of adding EVs to their fleets, they must consider the EV range they require as well as how to accommodate their distinctive operating conditions, which should encompass all seasonal variations. Beyond that, the effect of temperature on the range of EVs is just as significant.
The range of an EV refers to the distance it can travel on a single charge. The published range of a vehicle is determined through standardized testing conducted in controlled environments using dynamometers.
Typically, a vehicle’s range is defined by the energy storage capacity of its battery pack. A larger battery pack allows for a more extended range, but the vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency is influenced by its design characteristics, such as weight, shape and size.
For instance, a bus would need a considerably larger battery to achieve the same range as a 60kWh sedan. However, the vehicle’s fuel economy on any given trip can be affected either positively or negatively by external conditions — EVs are not exempt from this.
Tips for Extending EV Range in Cold Weather
Cold weather tends to have a greater influence on electric cars than on traditional fossil-fuel cars. The main reason behind this is how the batteries work. Batteries generally perform optimally within a temperature range of 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. When temperatures drop below or exceed this range, their effectiveness is lessened.
In frigid temperatures, the batteries’ effectiveness falls even further, as the movement of ions within them is hindered, reducing their energy storage capacity. Moreover, the climate control systems in electric cars rely on the battery for operation, which means that if the heating system is used under these particularly cold conditions, it could further lower the car’s range.
Implementing certain practices can help extend the range of electric cars in cold weather, especially in winter.
First, it is advisable to use available charging facilities at home to ensure the EV is fully charged before starting most journeys. Beginning your trip with a full charge can optimize the range of your vehicle.
One way to enhance the driving range of electric cars in cold weather is by using seat and steering wheel heaters. These accessories are highly efficient as they provide warmth through direct contact with your body. They consume much less energy compared to the car’s built-in heating system. Taking full advantage of these practical accessories is crucial, especially during winter driving.
Pay attention to your EV’s battery longevity as well. Avoid depleting the battery to low levels or frequently fast charging as much as possible. Maintaining the battery charge level between 20 and 80 percent whenever feasible is beneficial for its overall performance and longevity. Parking the car indoors during winter also helps conserve battery life and prevents unnecessary cooling of the car and the battery.
Another helpful suggestion to optimize the range and efficiency of electric cars is to monitor the tire pressure regularly. Besides enhancing safety, maintaining the recommended maximum air pressure in the tires can also improve the overall driving range. Refer to the car’s manual for the recommended air pressure guidelines.
When faced with a situation where an electric vehicle’s range is depleted, there are potential strategies to consider. One option is to allow the car to rest for a period of time, which may enable it to regain some charge and continue driving, potentially reaching the nearest charging point.
This approach can be particularly helpful in emergencies or when immediate access to charging infrastructure is limited. To maximize efficiency and range, things like tire pressure checks, ensuring proper cooling system functionality, and monitoring battery health, can also contribute to optimal performance.
Being mindful of charging locations and planning routes accordingly can help avoid situations where a vehicle’s range becomes a significant concern. By staying aware of the vehicle’s range limitations and considering factors like external conditions and potential charging points, EV owners can proactively manage their trips and mitigate the risk of range anxiety. This approach encourages responsible and sustainable driving practices, ensuring a smoother experience and greater confidence in the performance of EVs.